WASHINGTON, D.C.--Struggling to put his presidency in a favorable historical light, U.S. President George W. Bush has announced a dramatic shift in his attitude toward science. "Critics have accused my Administration of ignoring scientific advice and even of twisting science to suit its own political agenda," Bush said at a speech today at the National Center for Biochemical Medicine here. "Today, I say to those in the scientific community: 'Let's be friends.' "
As a gesture of reconciliation, Bush offered a $10 billion boost to the National Institutes of Health. That is a marked change from November, when he vetoed a spending bill that would have added more than $1 billion to the institute's budget, calling it fiscally irresponsible (ScienceNOW, 13 November 2007). "It turns out, the only thing that was irresponsible was my belief that scientific advances could be made on a shoestring," Bush told reporters today.