Science is objective. That is why I stayed neutral in my recent post about the candidates’ stance on science.
But recent comments made by Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin have forced me to change my tone.
In her first policy speech, addressing federal funding, Sarah Palin mocks fruit fly research:
Fruit flies are an established model system (an animal that is researched to understand similar things in humans). Modern genetics has been done primarily in fruit flies, many new genes are first discovered in flies, and then similar genes are found in humans. Fruit flies are one of the standard model systems used in developmental biology, since they are so easy to breed and modify. Fruit fly research has benefitted understanding autism.
Honestly, I am not particularly worried about Sarah Palin’s attitude towards (or lack of understanding of) science, because if McCain is elected I don’t think she will have much influence, particularly on scientific matters.
I am worried, however, about McCain’s judgement. If he picks an underqualified, incompetent running mate in an attempt to win over voters, whom might he appoint to be chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, or The National Institutes of Health?