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Presidential Science Advisors

Posted by BC on May 12th, 2008

Marburger I’m not into politics. Now that I’ve said that, I thought that I would make a political comment.

I once thought that science advisors to the president were only used in movies, but it turns out that they are real… sometimes. Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed the first science advisor, James Killian, in the late 1950s when the space race began. Some presidents saw no need for science advisors and did not use them. George W. Bush’s advisor is John. H. Marburger III, pictured to the left.

It seems that not all of the US presidents have held much stock in science, but as we know, keeping scientific advances advancing takes politics. At least funding of scientific advances takes people who can work within the political arena. The May 2008 issue of Scientific American has an opinion piece called “Why the Next President Needs a Powerful Science Advisor” that was an interesting read for me. I think that it may stimulate some discussions among science people, especially those living in the USA.

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