Imagine if all the incoming members of Congress were required to have “compulsory lessons in scientific literacy under a plan to strengthen evidence-based policy-making,” including “classes explaining scientific method and basic concepts.” Far-fetched, right?

Well, apparently Britain’s doing exactly that:

The plan, drawn up by Adam Afriyie, the party’s spokesman for science and innovation, is designed to address concerns about a lack of scientific expertise and understanding in the House of Commons and Whitehall.

Though scientific challenges such as global warming, stem-cell research, pandemic flu and GM crops are becoming increasingly important political issues, Parliament and the Civil Service have long been dominated by people with backgrounds in the humanities, law and business.

Via Prometheus.


  1. #1 CRM-114
    November 22, 2008

    What, are they envisioning the equivalent of a 4-year BS degree? That would be a start, but to make it enforceable it must be possible for a ‘student’ to get flunked out. Thus all MPs would have to be on probation, subject to being fired for flunking out, or not completing their degree in an appropriate span of time.

    And their work must be rigorously policed so that they don’t plagiarize, have experts do their work for them, or otherwise cheat.

  2. #2 Jessica Palmer
    November 23, 2008

    CRM-114 – why hold MPs to higher standards than many undergrads are held to these days? Sigh. . . 😉

  3. #3 Stephanie Z
    November 23, 2008

    That is progress. Next, we make them pass before they run. 🙂

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