President Obama's science advisor, John Holdren, isn't kidding when he praises his boss. "I sincerely think [he] is the most science-savvy president since Thomas Jefferson," he says. "And there's a lot more science to be savvy about." Holdren has his biases, of course. But there is no denying the scientific know-how of the outgoing administration.
Donald Trump is hardly the first President to lie to the American people. Nor is he the first to place ideology before data. But this White House, unlike any other, has already crossed the threshold into a space where facts appear to mean nothing. Eventually, the President's daily policy outrages, his caustic insults, and his childish Twitter rants will fade into history. But it will take years to gauge the impact of having a habitual liar as President.
"If the computer is this important, why haven't I heard more about it?" "Well, the computer is a relatively new thing, and we're just really getting an appreciation for the full range of its usefulness. Many people think that it's going to spark a revolution that will change the face of the earth almost as much as the first industrial revolution did." The skeptic posing the question is David Wayne, a crusty actor familiar to audiences of the time from movies such as Adam's Rib and TV shows like The Twilight Zone. The two men are cohosts of "The Thinking Machine," a documentary about artificial intelligence aired as part of a CBS series called Tomorrow, which the network produced in conjunction with MIT.
Thousands of scientists worldwide left their labs to take to the streets on Saturday along with students and research advocates in a push back against what they say are mounting attacks on science. The March for Science, coinciding with Earth Day, took place in some 600 cities. It was an event intended to promote the understanding of science and defend the discipline from proposed government budget cuts and threats to global agreements such as the Paris Agreement on climate change. In London, physicists, astronomers, biologists and celebrities gathered for a march past the city's most celebrated research institutions. Supporters carried signs showing images of a double helix and chemical symbols.