Last week, Cornelia Dean wrote an intriguing article- Groups Call for Scientists to Engage the Body Politic– in the New York Times that highlights efforts by three, former U.S. Representatives to increase the presence of scientists in politics. The bipartisan political action committee is called Ben Franklin’s List, named after the esteemed “Scientist. Politician. Patriot” and is lead by Rush Holt (D-New Jersey), Bill Foster (D-Illinois), and Vernon Ehlers (R-Michigan). While reading this, I could not help but reflect on Brian Baird’s FOSEP visit from last spring and our discussions about the need for more scientists (and deductive reasoning) in Congress. Of course, the idea is quite appealing, yet there are currently *only* 31 technically trained Congressional leaders out of 435.
I recommend giving the article a read and also taking the quiz to see how well you know today’s famous scientists. Who are they? Are they publicly visible? Should they run for office? Would you ever consider a career in politics?
Also, be sure to check out the links to additional organizations working to bring scientists into the policy realm: