Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, knows a good bit about science. He was a biology major at Brown University, one of the nation’s finest universities, and a Rhodes Scholar.
An excellent article in Slate explains how Jindal has sacrificed the principles of science for political expediency.
As the author notes, “…in his rise to prominence in Louisiana, he made a bargain with the religious right and compromised science and science education for the children of his state. In fact, Jindal’s actions at one point persuaded leading scientific organizations, including the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, to cross New Orleans off their list of future meeting sites (PDF).”
In 2008, Jindal signed the “Louisiana Science Education Act,” which undermined science by encouraging the teaching of creationism. Earlier this year, Jindal pushed through his voucher program, which will send millions of dollars to religious schools that teach only creationism.
University scientists have testified that they have lost strong candidates for faculty positions because scientists are reluctant to move to a state that is antagonistic to science. When you see what is happening in Louisiana, you can see why teachers need tenure–or they will be fired for teaching science. But of course, Jindal’s legislation took tenure away. To quote the article, “ Gov. Jindal has given wholehearted support to a program that will use public money to teach scientific nonsense to the young people of his state.”
What’s worrisome here is that Jindal is perceived as Romney’s spokesman on education, despite the fact that he has identified himself with hostility to science.
Some see Jindal as a contender for the vice-presidential nomination.
When you see how a man with the best education imaginable has sold out basic principle for political advantage, it makes you worry about the future of our nation.