What are the most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? To cut through the jargon and find an answer, we bring you the DISCOVER Science Policy Project, in which we give a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to respond to the following question:
What are the three most important things the next president can do to positively impact scientific research in the United States?
In the November issue of DISCOVER, we compile and analyze the results. In the meantime, we will be posting each response in its entirety here on Reality Base. Today's entry is by C. Everett Koop, the former U.S. Surgeon General and founder of the C. Everett Koop Institute. Feel free to offer your own ideas and analysis in the comments section. All past responses can be found here. C. EVERETT KOOP Former U.S. Surgeon General
Appoint the next surgeon general with an eye to scientific and medical prowess, rather than make it a political appointment. There are 55 Assistant Surgeons General and these could be divided into task forces to serve the president in any way he wishes. These officers represent more than a dozen specialty fields in science and medicine.
Give the Surgeon General’s office and the office of the State and Territorial Health Officers a joint grant making it possible to set up under academic auspices in several state’s lecture programs to hear both sides of any argument such as the use of stem cells in the broadest sense.
Appoint an extraordinary individual who could serve as medical and scientific advisor to the president.