Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Is Our Representatives Learning?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJune 18, 2008 10:35 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

My latest Science Progress column is up: It presents some ideas for improving the relationship between science and Congress other than the most obvious one--restoring the Office of Technology Assessment. The piece starts out like this:

First the good news: The number of physicists in Congress just increased dramatically. And now the bad: That increase was from 2 to 3. Still, if you plot the data, you can see the trend: As physicist Rush Holt (D-NJ) recently joked to The New York Times, "By mid-century, I think, we'll have a functioning majority." In all seriousness, though, to hear Holt and his fellow congressional equation solvers --Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and the recently elected Bill Foster (D-IL)--tell it, they are strangers in a truly strange land. Ehlers, for instance, relates having to occasionally rush to the floor to prevent fellow members from killing science programs they don't even understand--assuming, for instance, that "game theory" research involves sports, and that A.T.M. studies have something to do with banks (actually, this is a communications technology). Many people would probably agree that this gap between science and most of our elected representatives needs closing--but how to make that happen remains a complicated matter....

You can read the entire column here.

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In