An unlikely trio, no? On Monday Kerry kicked off what he said would be a week of focusing on “his plan to make the American economy stronger at home through scientific discovery, technology and innovation” with a speech in Denver. Kerry claimed that the current administration has politicized science (the campaign also issued a letter signed by 48 Nobel laureates endorsing that claim) and that a Kerry Administration “will put America back on the path of scientific excellence with a commitment to scientific research based on fact.” The response from Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt: “Only John Kerry would declare the country to be in scientific decline on a day when the country’s first privately funded space trip is successfully completed.” Critics, I think, would argue that SpaceShipOne has little to do with science per se, but it was an interesting comeback.
While the Kerry press release didn’t mention space specifically, it did note that a President Kerry “turn to our nation’s scientific leaders and make decisions based on expert advice.” This should sound familiar: he has previously said that he would “work with the best scientists” to determine in what direction NASA should proceed. Kerry plans more announcements “in the coming days” on science and technology policy, so perhaps he will share some more specifics.