WASHINGTON An EE Times poll of readers this week revealed strong support for Sen. Barack Obama to be the next U.S. president.
With more than a 1,000 responses received by Friday (Oct. 31), five days before the U.S. presidential election, the Illinois Democrat led GOP nominee Sen. John McCain by 22 points, 58 percent to 36 percent. Six percent of poll respondents selected "Other."
In a separate reader survey seeking to gauge key issues for engineering in the 2008 election, a smaller sample overwhelmingly cited U.S. economic recovery as the biggest challenge for the next president. Sixty percent of those polled expressed concern about the economy, while 21 percent said development of sustainable energy sources should be the highest priority.
Issues like funding for science and technology, education and globalization trailed far behind in the reader survey.
Readers were invited to participate in the presidential poll in response to a report that 76 U.S. Nobel Laureates had endorsed Obama for president..
A reader forum closely paralleled the ongoing U.S. policy debate about the role of government in funding research and development.
"These researchers just want more government-funded grants, and expect that a Democrat will supply that," said one reader.
Added another critic, "If one insists that the U.S. government get involved in R&D, take it out of some other government agency's budget."
Countered a supporter of government-backed basic research: "It's the [National Science Foundation] research money that supported Sergey Brin and Larry Pages' research work" that led to Google. "It's the same [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funding] that led to CDMA-related research at MIT, now succesfully commericialized by Qualcomm."