Francis Collins, former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, has written an op-ed in The Virginian-Pilot endorsing Sen. Obama for President of the United States. Apparently The Virginian-Pilot does not post the text of guest opinions on their web site, but you can read the entire piece by clicking the image below. For the impatient, Francis Collins begins by discussing the importance of scientific research to the growth of our economy. Establishing that, he quickly describes the current, declining state of scientific research funding and funding for science and mathematics education. He then briefly discusses Sen. McCain's scientific and research proposals, finding them lacking in specifics. He only mentions two specifics of the McCain policies. The first, making the research and development tax credit permanent, is shared by Sen. Obama. The second, a funding freeze, Mr. Collins believes would have a deleterious effect on research in the U.S. The remainder of the piece discusses Sen. Obama's plans in broad strokes, ties it to economic recovery, cites the support of Nobel laureates for Sen. Obama, mentions a specific genomic-research-related bill introduced by Sen. Obama, and urges his election because "the stakes for the future of our world are very high".

[caption id="attachment_386" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Scan courtesy of Michael Stebbins."]Francis Collins endorses Sen. Obama[/caption]

You can get more information on Sen. Obama's and Sen. McCain's science and technology plans on their web sites.

Here's something to ponder: It is widely accepted that low taxes stimulate the economy, but taxes over the last seven years have been low and the economy is tanking. Perhaps we should be investing in science, a proven engine of the economy, rather than focusing so much on lowering taxes further and further.