Over at Monkey Trials, Scott Hatfield suggests that in the next administration the new presidential science advisor should be a famous science popularizer such as EO Wilson or perhaps even better Neil deGrasse Tyson. Not only would these individuals have the breadth of knowledge to advise in multiple areas of science, but just as importantly, they could serve as leading public ambassadors for science.
Just one problem: Most science popularizers such as Wilson or Tyson don’t have the years of government experience to understand the machinations of Federal science policy. Moreover, they have a paper trail of strong opinions on issues that might make appointment politically tough.
Yet there is one person that scores high on all of these dimensions, plus one other major attribute. And that person is Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Project. Not only does Collins have top government experience but he is also a successful popularizer. And perhaps even more importantly, based on his background and writings, he would make a perfect science ambassador to religious America.