Sixty Eight Nobel Prize winners in Science and Medicine have endorsed Barack Obama in an open letter to the American people. The Nobel laureates expressed deep concern that, "without leadership and continued commitment to scientific research the next generation of Americans will not make and benefit from future discoveries." They went on to note that President Obama has, "championed investment in science and technology research that is the engine of our economy" and expressed concern that, "His opponent supports a budget that... would devastate a long tradition of support for public research and investment in science at a time when this country's future depends, as never before, on innovation."
In 2008, 61 Nobel laureates released a similar letter supporting Obama over John McCain. Dr. Martin Chalfie reminisced in the New York Times that this was the first thing he did as the Nobel prize winner for Chemistry in 2008, and stated, "Scientists should stand up and talk about what they feel is important for the country in terms of the long-term support [of] research."
This year's Nobel winners for Chemistry, Drs. Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka, were signatories, but the 2012 winners for Physiology or Medicine, Drs. John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka, were not. In the New York Times article, Dr. Kobilka stated, "I feel the Obama administration has been doing a good job of supporting basic research given the constraints of the economy."
The administration's current Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu winner of the Nobel in Physiology or Medicine in 1997, and Dr. Howard Varmus, the 1989 Nobel winner in Physiology or Medicine and current Director of the National Cancer Institute, were also among the signatories.