Since you must be currently plugged into the information tubes to be reading this, it's safe to assume you're also aware that President Obama will deliver the President's annual State of the Union address tonight at 9 p.m. EST. While the SOTU is often a list of achievements made in the past year, a to-do list for the coming year, and a big-language pep talk, this year's is supposedly going to be focused on upcoming challenges. Many of those are economic, but many also tie directly into science and technology (with at least a dash of defense).
So what should the sci/tech-conscious citizen be looking for from President Obama in tonight's speech?
Along with meeting heads of state and talking free trade, President Obama made some new friends at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit last week. Before entering a meeting in Japan, he met a Geminoid F robot and a group of yowling robotic seals.
Barack Obama, the country's first nerd president, is scheduled to appear on the TV show "Mythbusters," he said at the White House today. We are thrilled that in this difficult time, the president would put petty politics aside and exercise his inner geek.
American space ambitions have, for the most part, maintained a well-defined line between space exploration and space tourism, But that line has now blurred considerably as Boeing announced that it is entering the space tourism business, selling leftover seats in its Crew Space Transportation (CST) spacecraft after the initial four are filled by embarking and returning crews bound for the International Space Station.
Researchers at dozens of labs across the country are scrambling today to figure out exactly where their research stands and if feeding their cell cultures is even legal after a ruling handed down yesterday by a federal judge blocked President Obama's 2009 executive order expanding the scope of embryonic stem cell research. At issue: Whether or not Obama's policy violates a federal ban on federal money contributing to the destruction of embryos. At stake: A whole lot of ongoing medical science that could be cut down in stride.
A major effort to push a climate change bill through Congress this summer died quietly Thursday evening, as Senate leaders said they would instead focus on legislation aimed at cleaning up the oil spill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is seeking re-election this fall in Nevada, said, "We know that we don't have the votes," the New York Times reports.