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What can we expect from Obama's science team? Action on climate change and over-fishing, and perhaps a change in nuclear defence policy. Plus, when galaxies collide

By Philip Ball   February 2009

What will 2009 bring for science?

The scientific community must be almost alone in having grounds for optimism about 2009. Finally, science will be taken seriously again in American politics. Barack Obama’s choices of top scientific advisers are impeccable. Physicist Bob Park of the University of Maryland thinks they will lead to “the most influence science has had in the White House since the Eisenhower administration.”

Obama seemed initially to be favouring technologists over practising scientists, but any such misgivings were allayed by the nomination of physicist Steven Chu as secretary of energy. Chu is a physics Nobel laureate (he’ll…

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