Sorry – completely forgot to post yesterday, though I’m kind of glad I did. If I’d written something yesterday, it would have been quick, and probably sciencey.
But today, after multiple exams, I’m done thinking about nitty-gritty science. I’d much rather recommend an excellent read in the New York Times. (Access can be tricky since there’s a monthly cap on article views, but you should be able to access it through Google if nothing else works.) It’s about scientists in government, and while it’s certainly not a new topic, it is increasingly pertinent given the competitive decline of the United States, particularly in STEM fields. It explores the historical perception of scientists as elitist and out of touch, and compares the role of scientists in the US to other governments. It suggests a variety of reasons for the scarcity of scientists in US politics, one of my favorites being that the rational scientific solutions to problems frequently upset religious and cultural beliefs. While this is certainly believable (conflict surrounding DADT, decriminalization of various substances, and abortion come to mind), the extent of the opposition never fails to amaze me.