One of President George W. Bush's most pressing tasks will be staffing his administration. The president will need to appoint dozens of people to high-level government posts, including approximately 80 positions in science and technology.

As individuals who have served as presidential appointees--one of us in the Clinton and Bush administrations and the other in the Reagan administration--we know the critical importance of having science and technology expertise in the White House. The new administration must be prepared to hit the ground running in areas ranging from wireless communication to biotechnology to missile defense. In just the past few months, for example, concerns have been raised about genetically modified corn not intended for human consumption making its way into our food supply, government security in our national labs, and the health risks posed by a commonly used household pesticide. These issues require judgment based not just on thorough scientific...

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