Tom Harkin (D-IA) is retiring and will not seek reelection in 2014. This is good news for science. The Republicans get all the publicity for their wacky “scientific” theories and complete disassociation from reality, but you’d be hard pressed to find an individual who did more harm to actual people than Tom Harkin. He has used his position to promote the worst of “alternative” medicines. (You know what they call alternative medicine that has been proven to work? Medicine. – Tim Minchin) He also was a major backer of creating the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) within the NIH giving alternative medicine a undeserved prestige by associating it with an organization that does good science. He then was critical of the agency when it went on to disprove many of the “alternative” medicines that Harkin endorses.
So good riddance, Senator Harkin! Science will be much better off without you.