Shawn Lawrence Otto | Scientific American
By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 01, 2012
The United States faced down authoritarian governments on the left and right. Now it may be facing an even greater challenge from within
By guest blogger Barry Bickmore, a Republican geoscientist at Brigham Young University
By Guest Blogger | Nov 16, 2011
Let’s face it–it’s a bad year for Republican Environmentalists like me. About half of the field of Republican presidential candidates once promoted the idea of addressing climate change in some way, but all but Jon Huntsman have backed off this stance to one extent or another.
Today's antiscience politicians are not going to take America where we need to go
By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Oct 27, 2011
America didn't keep the world safe for democracy by pandering to ideological dark agers - we got ahead by using hard-headed science. It's time we get back to it, and start putting America first again.
There is a propaganda battle being fought on the internet to control what you believe
By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 22, 2011
Hilary Clinton was mocked as paranoid when in 1998 she said that there was "a vast right-wing conspiracy" out to discredit her husband Bill Clinton's presidency. Since then the network of right-wing media outfits, conservative think tanks, merchant scientists, propaganda videographers and corporate-funded astroturf organizations has been broadly documented.
Two of the three leading GOP candidates for president increasingly appear to be unable to discern fact from fiction.
By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 15, 2011
The HPV flap is just the latest in a GOP flight into unreason. Bachmann and Perry frequently take policy positions that fly in the face of science.
Continued republican party relevance may hinge on science
By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 07, 2011
GOP hopefuls are increasingly stuck between a rock and a hard place: how to satisfy the antiscience foot soldiers recruited into the base because of their passionate energy without alienating general election voters who view those positions as irrational. The battle over science - between Huntsman, Gingrich and Romney on the one hand, and Bachmann, Santorum, Perry and Paul on the other, may determine the relevance of the republican party going forward.
Perry again insists on ideology, even when it's demonstrably not true
By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Aug 18, 2011
GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is a skilled politician but he shows poor quality thinking when handling policy challenges using knowledge and science.
Garry Trudeau has some fun with Louisiana's classroom creationism kookiness
By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Jul 10, 2011
When the Louisiana state legislature adjourned on June 23, 2011, Senate Bill 70 — which would have repealed the antievolution law in effect in the state since 2008 — died in committee. The driving force behind the repeal effort was Baton Rouge high school senior Zack Kopplin, working with the Louisiana Coalition for Science.
We live in a day when students lead the charge for truth, while parents want to sacrifice their childrens' education to satisfy their political affiliation.
Today's GOP seems increasingly anti-science, but it wasn't always so. 80 years ago, the antiscience social conservatives were Democrats.
By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Jul 07, 2011
Today the party that most stands for freedom, openness, tolerance, caution, and science is the Democratic Party, which may explain why fifty-five percent of scientists polled in 2009 said they were Democrats, while only six percent said they were Republicans, compared to thirty-five and twenty-three percent of the general public, respectively. Early in the twentieth century this situation was almost reversed. Republican Abraham Lincoln had created the National Academy of Sciences in 1863. Republican William McKinley, who is admired by Karl Rove, won two presidential elections, in 1896 and 1900, over the anti-evolution Democrat William Jennings Bryan.
Why Michele Bachmann's ideas about public education are bad for America
By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Jul 05, 2011
GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has made a career out of waging the values battle in the culture wars. A major part of that battle early on in Bachmann's career was the battle over teaching creationism in public school science classes. In fact, Bachmann got her start in politics on the board of a charter school that got in trouble for teaching biblical principles in class. She ran for school board as part of a group of religious conservatives that sought to take it over. She failed, but it was the last election she has lost. Today, the debate over "teching the controversy" has gone mainstream.