Issue Date: November 3, 2008
Expressing Political Views
"NOBEL LAUREATES Support Obama" points out that 62 Nobel Laureates (14 of whom are chemistry Nobel Laureates), support Sen. Barack Obama for president (C&EN, Oct. 6, page 10). All of these Laureates are outstanding in their fields of science and all deserve honor and respect for their accomplishments.
Their political views, however, are nothing more than their personal preferences. Their professional standing lends no additional significance to their political views; their views are no more valid than yours or mine.
Because we live in a democracy, all of our views have equal weight at the ballot box. Many eminent scientists can be found who support Sen. John McCain. Political attractiveness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It is interesting to note that all 14 chemistry Nobel Laureates are university professors. It's well established that university faculties are politically quite liberal, and high percentages of these faculties support Democratic candidates. Therefore, it is not surprising that these 14 professors support Obama.
Certainly, supporting science is a special interest of C&EN's readers. However, the best candidate is the one that does the most for our country as a whole, rather than for any special interest, including our own.
Michael J. Watkins
- Chemical & Engineering News
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