At the sunset of Newt Gingrich’s putative presidency, the moon would be the 51st state, colonized by permanent American settlers. Tourists would honeymoon in low-Earth orbit, space factories would manufacture goods in microgravity, and America would have a rocket powerful enough to send us to Mars.
Our current president is a proud nerd, appearing on shows like Mythbusters, collecting comic books in his youth and dropping references to dilithium crystals (really). But the most prominent Republican to challenge him so far is also a science dork, judging from his Amazon book reviews.
With a shifting balance of power in Washington, some changes may be in store for science. Though the dust has barely settled, some political analysts are already predicting Republican-led global warming hearings, rollbacks in climate change and energy legislation and even changes to controversial science like stem cell research.