US President Barack Obama's science report card is in, and it would appear that the chief executive of the US is something less than a straight-A student.
The Scientist recently surveyed experts from both sides of the political spectrum to get their views on how the president has done in five areas — health, environment, energy, science education, and space — since taking office.
The results? A mixed bag — with the administration winning As from the panelists in Science Education and Health; a B and B+ on Energy and the Environment, respectively; and a lowly C- on Space Science; giving him, all told, a 3.2 GPA — respectable, but not exactly Ivy League material.
The president scored particular plaudits for pushing through the Affordable Care Act and pressing for more funding for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics funding.
A roughly 20 percent cut to NASA's robotic planetary science program, on the other hand, dropped his Space grade to nearly failing. That cut, The Scientist says, "compelled the US to drop out of upcoming missions to bring back samples from the surface of Mars, even after the recent successful landing of the Curiosity rover captured the public imagination this summer."