Thursday, November 06, 2008

Professor President

What are the implications of having a professor as President (again)? There are many possibilities:

- We professors can feel happy knowing that lots of people will vote for someone who is too professorial. Is professorial reserve now cool?

- Perhaps basic science research will be viewed as important. Perhaps there will be recognition by the new administration that there are significant reasons to study fruit flies and grizzly bear DNA.

- Perhaps the stereotype of professors talking but never actually accomplishing anything will fade away into oblivion.

- Perhaps some of our international colleagues won't be so reluctant to visit the US for conferences and other academic purposes.

- Perhaps our students will believe us when we tell them that they have to know how to speak in complete sentences to succeed in life and that they can't randomly make up words that sort of sound like they might mean something.

19 comments:

mentaer said...

_"Perhaps some of our international colleagues won't be so reluctant to visit the US for conferences and other academic purposes."_

sorry I have to answer on that by posting this:
" From 12 January 2009, all VWP (VISA Waiver Program) travellers will be required to obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the US under the VWP. Travellers will need to log onto the ESTA Web site at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and complete an on-line application in English. ..."
..yes.. things get easier/or not?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the stereotype of professors talking but never actually accomplishing anything will fade away into oblivion.

Of course, that would necessitate that Prof./Pres. Obama actually accomplishes something.

geomom said...

It's important to make sure that we study AMERICAN "freedom flies" and not the FRENCH fruit flies :-)

Massimo aka Okham said...

Perhaps our students will believe us when we tell them that they have to know how to speak in complete sentences to succeed in life and that they can't randomly make up words that sort of sound like they might mean something.

Oh, no, don't count on that -- especially when the President-elect is attacked for sounding "too professorial", something that will happen in 3, 2, 1 ...

dl said...

I love the last bullet point.

quietandsmalladventures said...

"Perhaps our students will believe us when we tell them that they have to know how to speak in complete sentences to succeed in life and that they can't randomly make up words that sort of sound like they might mean something."

lol!! or that they can't just random large words inappropriately in order to they "sound smart".

amy said...

Well, our current president has been in office 8 years, and Palin is a governor, so it's just not true that one has to know how to speak in complete sentences to succeed in life. I think we'd have to tell our kids: well, *you* have to speak in complete sentences because you aren't well-connected and you're only average in attractiveness.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps basic science research will be viewed as important."
When was this ever the case under a Democratic president. Under Bush science funding increased dramatically. Same thing happened under Reagan. Clinton and Carter left science funding flat during their terms in office. Obama will leave science funding flat or decreased - I guarantee it. The economy isn't hot and Obama has promised too many other financial handouts leaving less for science.

Alex said...

I wonder if Prof. Obama will get a reduced committee load in his first year at his new job.

Wait till he discovers that the Secret Service guys have all been there longer and qualify for better parking permits.

chemcat said...
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Anonymous said...

My oozing gripe with Obama is that he is floating Larry Summers for admin.

Anonymous said...

Here is a graph showing federal funding. http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/federalscibud.jpg
Notice how it didn't change much under Clinton or Carter. There were big gains under W. Bush and Reagan. Yes Clinton did double the NIH budget at the expense of other science funding. However, Reagan and Bush Sr. also doubled the NIH budget and there were huge increases under W. Bush as well. See here:http://dustinedwards.info/nih-budget/

chemcat said...
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chemcat said...
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Anonymous said...

FSP put fruit flies in her blog

My world is now complete

Mark P

PS Perceptual vigilance is amazing. Mothers and other non-scientific friends and relatives of those of us who work on fruit flies flooded us with emails about Gov. Palin and her very interesting comment son the value of basic science research..."done in Paris France, I kid you not"

FSGS said...

About federal funding for basic research vs. defense... I think PhD comics breaks it down nicely (their data sources are listed at the bottom of the comic):

http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1074

- FSGradStudent

flit said...

I almost wish my students would resort to making up words... it would, if nothing else, relieve the monotony of marking way too many essays that miss the point of the same darn poem.

Ms.PhD said...

re: basic science research, maybe. Education, I hope so since Obama said it was a top priority.

re: professors talking but not accomplishing anything? that will stay as long as there are professors like mine, whose lack of action says a lot more than any words.

re: visits from international colleagues, yes, but only if Obama changes the stupid homeland security policies. But did you notice how he completely dropped the whole Exit Iraq emphasis? I'm not sure we can expect such a drastic Change as we might have hoped.

re: complete sentences, yes. Obama is a fantastic role model for public speaking.

migratingfishswim said...

FSP, geomom and amy

- thanks so much for making laugh and think