Our 344 readers who answered our recent survey on political attitudes and involvement show that scientists are not sitting in ivory towers and turning their backs on politics. The majority of the respondents, 76%, regularly discuss politics with friends and family, and 72% keep informed through the media. More than 80% vote in national and local elections, and 21% have written a letter on a political topic to a newspaper or magazine.
Of course, it is likely that these politically involved scientists are more likely than others to answer our poll. More than in other surveys, respondents wanted to know why some questions weren't included: "[You] should have asked whether we're government employees and forbidden to participate in politics," said one. And another: "No questions about the current political activities or posture of the US government/administration. Afraid?"
And of course, some couldn't resist comparing science to politics. "Scientists are three-dimensional thinkers. Why keep the political spectrum to a two-dimensional continuum??"