Scientists As Politicians

I would like to respond to your article in the April 15 issue on scientists and physicians in Congress [T.W. Durso, page 1]. I do not disagree with the contention that we do need more scientists in Congress who can explain the workings of scientific research and the need for it to other members of Congress and educate them. However, these individuals, as other members, vote on a whole variety of issues that arise during the course of their tenure. Thus, it is not enough to list their credentia

Philip Siekevitz
May 12, 1996

I would like to respond to your article in the April 15 issue on scientists and physicians in Congress [T.W. Durso, page 1]. I do not disagree with the contention that we do need more scientists in Congress who can explain the workings of scientific research and the need for it to other members of Congress and educate them. However, these individuals, as other members, vote on a whole variety of issues that arise during the course of their tenure.

Thus, it is not enough to list their credentials as scientists; we have to examine the whole record-statements and votes-on a variety of issues. Let us suppose that one of them is vociferous in support of basic biomedical research but at the same time denies the fruit of this research, through voting against appropriation bills for medical care to those who cannot afford it. So what is the purpose of...

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