[Ed. note: In the October 31 issue of The Scientist New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu was interviewed as a spokesman for the Bush campaign on science. Now, of course, Sununu has been named White House chief of staff, putting him into position to influence debate on many of the issues he discussed with The Scientist’s, Jeffrey Merivs.
As a result, we have decided to print additional parts of the interview.]
Q Do you think that some sort of national program is needed to bring about changes in the public’s negative attitude toward science?
A This tendency to try to establish public institutions for everything is quite often counterproductive. The constraints of “impartiality” and fairness that come under a publicly supported program sometimes are self-inhibiting and counterproductive. I would rather have the private side—education and the private sector research facilities and individuals involved in government— take the lead.
The most important...