Looking back at President Jimmy Carter’s science policy.


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President Jimmy Carter has entered home hospice care in Plains, Georgia, at the age of 98, according to a statement from The Carter Center. The former president had chosen to receive hospice care after a series of short hospital stays. 

Carter was practically unknown when he began his bid for the presidency for the 1976 election. He defeated incumbent President Gerald R. Ford, capitalizing on his status as a Washington outsider in the wake of the Vietnam War and Watergate scandal. 

As President, Jimmy Carter established several science-related initiatives and policies. One of his signature achievements in science was the creation of the Department of Energy in 1977, which was created to address the country’s energy crisis and promote energy efficiency and alternative sources of energy.

Carter also sought to promote scientific research and development in a number of areas. He increased funding for basic science research in fields such as physics and chemistry, and established the National Commission on Excellence in Education to promote improvements in science and math education in American schools.

On top of that, Carter sought to address environmental issues through science policy. He established the Superfund program, which was created to clean up hazardous waste sites, and signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which protected millions of acres of land in Alaska.

Carter’s science policy emphasized the importance of science and technology in addressing pressing issues such as energy, the environment, and education.

Carter served a single term as president, and was defeated by Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980. During his post-White House years, he establish The Carter Center with his wife, Rosalynn, in 1982, which has been a global advocate for democracy, public health, and human rights. 

The former president and his wife have been involved in the center’s work, including its efforts to eradicate the Guinea worm parasite in developing countries.

IMAGE CREDIT: Commonwealth Club.

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