The civilized world is at war with Jihad Islamic terrorism. It takes a bomb in the office of some academics to make them realize that their most basic values are now threatened, and some of my good friends and colleagues on the Edge seem to have forgotten 9/11. If we lose the war, the laudable, but pet projects they endorse, will not be issues. Fighting fatwahs and no education for women will displace grousing about random assignment of schoolchildren to study education. If we win this war, we can go on to pursue the normal goals of science.
So a science advisor to the President today needs to help direct natural science and social science toward winning our war against terrorism. First and foremost.
Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania
Author of Learned Optimism; The Optimistic Child; and Authentic Happiness.