Thursday, May 9, 2013

Caveat Politics

Science details the intent of Congress to institute a Science Laureate for the United States. Beware what one asks for. It would undeniably be a "politically correct" person whose contributions may all too often be questioned.

The magazine states:

"The U.S. Science Laureate will be a national role model who can encourage students to learn more about the sciences," Hirono said in the statement. "By elevating great American scientific communicators, we can empower students - especially girls and minorities - to get excited about science." 

 What gets people excited by science is all too often a visceral reaction to things not readily reproduced. It is that stumble across a set of books in a library, some presentation they get hauled into, or emptying out trash cans.

The last places to award anything is the Government. Just look at the Peace Prizes, non-peer related awards. Even Nobel Prizes have political content, yet generally driven by some explainable notion. But a Science Laureate awarded by the Government? People would wonder what favor was called in for that award. In a sense we are becoming more like pre-revolution France by awarding titles and pensions to anyone by the Government.

For example they want the person to:

introduced legislation that would empower the president to select a "nationally renowned expert" who would "travel around the country to inspire future scientists,"

 Now any scientist worth their salt will not be taking two years off at the peak of their career to talk to High School students in the backwaters of the country. It makes no sense. With all the problems we have one wonders why this is even considered.