Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Physicists in Congress

Yesterday's NYT (June 10th 2008) had an interesting article by Cornelia Dean about the three Physicists in the US Congress and Senate (two Democrats and one Republican, in case you are wondering).

There are 435 people in the House, Mr. Holt said, and “420 don’t know much about science and choose not to.” He recalled his exasperation when anthrax spores were discovered in the Capitol in 2001 and colleagues came to him and said, “You are a scientist, you must know about anthrax,” a subject ordinarily missing from the physics curriculum.

“The difference,” he said, “is we would be perfectly happy to pick up a copy of The New England Journal of Medicine and read about the etiology of anthrax.”

“In fact, we basically did that,” Mr. Ehlers said.

“We know more than our colleagues,” Mr. Holt said, “but not more than they could know.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Foster said, “unless things play to their advantage in the next election, they are not interested.”

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