Sunday, August 6, 2017

Wired -- US Scientists, Please Run for Office. The Planet Needs You

To truly represent “we the people,” our congressional representation needs to include Americans from all walks of life. But, with few exceptions, Senators and Representatives are mostly lawyers. A situation in dire need of change.

We would be a healthier democracy if our decision making on policy and fashioning our laws came from a body of lawmakers equalized with not only lawyers and businessmen, but with doctors, farmers, scientist, tradesmen, artists, health care professionals, school teachers, and others from main street U.S.A.

Wired magazines Clive Thompson makes the argument for more scientist. In our world, Congress needs more “trained in the process of gathering data and testing hypotheses in order to better understand reality.”

Here is an excerpted paragraph from Thompson’s article in which he makes that point:

"Right now, Capitol Hill is—to borrow a term from agriculture, that oldest form of science—a monocrop. The profusion of lawyers in the House and Senate is understandable: We are a nation of laws. But that legalistic heritage has cultural side effects. Lawyers are trained to be adversarial and to massage facts, if need be, to help their client. “Lawyers argue their case; scientists follow the facts,” says Josh Morrow, executive director of 314, a group pushing scientists to run for office."

We clearly need a new direction on framing policies and laws on climate change, health care, and energy that will benefit all Americans and not just a privileged few.

By Clive Thompson