This past Saturday, our granddaughter Liz graduated from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute with a degree is in molecular biology. Needless to say, we are all very proud of her. Senator Hillary Clinton spoke at the commencement.

Interesting side note: Liz's dad and one of her sisters attended the ceremony. Dad is a staunch republican and "Hillary hater" while the sister is a liberal/progressive.

Clinton says politics shouldn't stop scientific progress
Posted by Hello

Associated Press Writer
May 21, 2005, 8:13 PM EDT

TROY, N.Y. -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told graduating students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday they shouldn't let politics interfere with the pursuit of science.

"At the root of democracy is free inquiry, open debate and dialogue," Clinton said in her commencement speech. "What happens in a scientific laboratory where people are searching for answers to difficult questions must also occur in a democracy."

Clinton said she fears the proud American tradition of free inquiry in both science and democracy has been threatened in recent years. Interference in publicly funded science, the suppression of scientific evidence and the politicization of scientific advisory panels are all on the rise, she said.

"Oftentimes it feels some of us are living in an evidence-free zone," Clinton said.

"This is not a Democratic, Republican or conservative issue, but an American issue," she said.

Though Clinton did not specifically mention stem cell research, her remarks came the day after President Bush said he is preparing to "go to the mat" for his 2001 ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Bush is asking Congress not to pass a bill lifting the ban.

Clinton also criticized the government's recent discouragement of student visas granted to foreign students.

Although the former first lady received a warm welcome from the crowd at RPI, one heckler shouted, "It's your war, Hillary!" during her speech. Also, between five and 10 college Republicans demonstrated on a street corner near the ceremonies, saying they did not agree with the college administration's selection of Clinton as the commencement speaker.


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