Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum announced for president today. We just praised Mitt Romney here for his acceptance of climate science--and by the same token, there is much to criticize about Santorum's scientific views. Namely:
1. Santorum is an anti-evolution, "intelligent design" supporter who has written that ID "is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes." It isn't, and it shouldn't. 2. Santorum is an opponent of embryonic stem cell research, and in his opposition, he cites other scientific avenues like adult stem cell research as an adequate substitute--despite the fact that scientists say we need to try all approaches, rather than limiting inquiry. Or as the International Society for Stem Cell Research puts it: "Research on human embryonic stem cells, somatic cell nuclear transfer, induced pluripotent state cells (iPS cells) and ‘adult’ or tissue-specific stem cells needs to continue in parallel. All are part of a research effort that seeks to expand our knowledge of how cells function, what fails in the disease process, and how the first stages of human development occur. It is this combined knowledge that will ultimately generate safe and effective therapies." 3. Santorum is a global warming skeptic. Witness this 2008 column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, claiming that "global temperatures have actually cooled over the last 10 years and are predicted to continue cooling over the next 10." No they aren't.
All of these positions are outside the scientific mainstream and, indeed, simply out of touch.