Many scientists in the United States who staunchly opposed a second presidential term for George W. Bush were probably in a somewhat less-than-festive mood during the inauguration in Washington earlier this month. Some were likely thinking, as were other observers, that an opulent $40 million party – that's excluding the costs of security – seems inappropriate while the nation is at war and an entire region has been devastated by a tsunami.

These thoughts, however, should not prevent such scientists from looking forward, or encourage them to wring their hands and write off the next four years. Groups such as Scientists and Engineers for Change have engaged in a noble and important effort to educate the public about scientific issues. Their work was pegged to the presidential election, but it should continue apace.

One way for scientists to remain involved is to serve on governmental advisory committees. Here, too, scientists...

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