Science Debate: Nobel and Crafoord laureates supporting the call
“There are at least three good reasons for a Presidential Science debate. One is to contrast the opinions of the leading candidates. However, most of them are very likely to agree more than disagree. The second is to highlight the importance of science to America. Science is important in a number of ways: as the fundament of American economic competitiveness, as the hope for providing safe sources of energy, as the engine for improving human health, as a part of our cultural development and as the framework for teaching the next generation of scientists and technologists, to mention a few. The third reason is to force the candidates to think about the importance of S&T so that when one becomes President he or she won’t find the suggestion so foreign.” — David Baltimore, Past President, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Robert A. Millikan Professor of Biology and Past President, Caltech; Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1975.
David Baltimore, Ph.D.
AAAS President; Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology
Baltimore is one of the world’s leading biologists and a co-recipient of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of reverse transcriptase. Since then, he has published more than 600 papers, including seminal research on the genetics of cancer, the workings of the HIV virus and AIDS vaccine candidates, and fundamental observations in molecular immunology. He was founding director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and president of Rockefeller University and Caltech. Today he heads the Baltimore Lab at Caltech, with support from the Gates Foundation, to look for ways to genetically boost the immune system against infectious pathogens, particularly HIV. Throughout his career, Baltimore has influenced science policy. He helped set standards for recombinant DNA technology and received the 1999 National Medal of Science in part for his work on AIDS research policy. Today he is outspoken about what he sees as government efforts to distort and suppress scientific research.