On March 23rd, with an eagerness that I look back on fondly, I had the bright idea to write about the scientific views of each presidential candidate as they announced their campaigns. This seemed like a perfect foil for me to write about politics, with a scientific twist so that my posts were not just regurgitation of the thousands of other articles and blog posts that are written about politics every day. That day Ted Cruz had announced he was running for the highest office in the land, and I set to furiously writing down my first post in the series about what turned out to be Ted Cruz’s wildly misguided use of science. In early April, my excitement returned as I got to write another science post about Rand Paul. The next week came Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio. Then Bernie Sanders. Then Carly Fiorina. Then Ben Carson. Then Mike Huckabee. Then Rick Santorum. Then George Pataki.
Good god! Little did I know when I started this adventure that 22 major candidates were running for president this cycle. Twenty-two candidates! I soon felt like a kind citizen holding the door open for one person only to find myself holding it open as a crowd of clowns poured through the door for the annual clown-car convention. Note that my choice of metaphor has been very carefully chosen.
On a more personal note, the past month has been especially hectic; I bought a house, adopted a puppy, had a 4th of July party, entertained multiple sets of friends and family as they came to visit, etc. I got busy. I soon found a long, daunting, overwhelming list of presidential candidates about whom I was supposed to write a blog post examining, and often excoriating, their views and statements regarding the sciences. Every other day another senator or governor crawled out of the woodworks announcing his or her intention to run for president. I got overwhelmed.
All of the above is not me making excuses for how far behind I’ve become as much as it is confessing to the crime. I’m back now; my life is more stable and I still think the idea is interesting. Amazingly, there are still twelve candidates that we need to examine. They are in alphabetical order: Jeb Bush, Lincoln Chaffee, Christ Christie, Jim Gilmore, Lindsay Graham, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Martin O’Malley, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, and Jim Webb. That’s three per week, and we’ll have them all finished by the end of August.
I hope you find these posts interesting, and I hope you’ve stuck with me. And don’t worry, I’ll be putting up some neuroscience posts up in the next month too. As always, I’m open to requests and suggestions; just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).