The Scientific Activist

Scientists and Engineers for America has announced a workshop for scientists interested in running for office or working on a political campaign. The workshop will be held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, on May 10th. Despite the focus of my blog, I would have still thought that training scientists to run for office would be quite a niche area–to say the least. However, considering how fundamental science and technology are to the issues that elected officials face today (from scientific funding to energy and the environment to agricultural policy), having more scientists in office is clearly something to be desired. Therefore, despite my surprise that such a workshop is happening at all, I think it’s a great idea.

This video describes the workshop in more detail:

My favorite quote from the video: “If you can learn nuclear physics, you can learn politics.”

You can see the agenda of the day-long workshop here. The program includes Joe Trippi (of the John Edwards 2008 and Howard Dean 2004 presidential campaigns), among others. Registration hasn’t opened yet, but if you’re interested you can enter your information here, and you’ll be notified when registration does open.


  1. #1 lidija
    March 31, 2008

    Nick, I agree overall with your “niche” comment. On the other hand, we have had quite a few PhDs going to do congressional, media and policy fellowships that even if you selected a subset of that group from the last 10 years, there would be enough people to populate the workshop. And I personally hope some of them do run.

    P.S. The questions is not if you can learn nuclear physics vs. politics, but whether you can stomach it 🙂

  2. #2 MrChemistry
    February 12, 2009

    SEA’s mission of informing and educating scientists and engineers continues, even during non-election cycles. To learn more about how to become involved, join us at:

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