The Sciences

God Bless the USA (and Its Scientific Capacity)

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyNov 1, 2010 5:16 PM

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Thanks to Sean Schmidt, I've been introduced to yet another pro-science musician: country music star Brad Paisley. I didn't follow country before, so I'd never heard of him, but wow--Paisley's song "Wecome to the Future" is just about the most stirring paean to American technological ingenuity and progress that I've ever heard or seen. And the whole message comes wrapped in a stars-and-stripes packaging that even a Tea Partier could love. Watching Paisley's video, I don't see how anyone can question the fundamental premise of the Rock Stars of Science™ campaign--that musicians are some of our most powerful allies in spreading the good word about science and its importance to our lives, health, and national future. Watching this puts me in mind of something about tomorrow's election, by the way, and I wonder if others would agree. Seeing those images of windmills, and hearing kids talking about how they want to be scientists while country rock jangles in the background--it all makes me think that even if we do elect a crop of know-nothing climate deniers tomorrow, the message about clean energy and keeping America ahead in technology is not something that can ultimately be kept down. It's simply too resonant, and too powerful. Too groovy, and too infectious. That's the reason clean energy and tech innovators are expected to soundly defeat dirty out-of-state oil interests in the Prop 23 showdown in California. The clean energy and tech guys have got a much better message, because a) no one can question their fundamental contribution to America's prosperity; and b) they have the future ("Welcome to the Future") on their side to boot. We're very lucky that's the case. And we're very lucky to have musicians like Brad Paisley singing the same tune.

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