Steven Chu of Lawrence Berkeley Labs is reported to be President-elect Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Energy.

While much will be made of his Nobel Prize and his aggressive advocacy for science-based solutions to the climate crisis, his nomination is important for another reason.

Chu is Steve 75 on NCSE’s Project Steve. Project Steve is a humorous mockery of creationist lists of scientific supporters. The 987 signers of the Project Steve statement are all PhD scientists who support evolution, and all are named Steve (or Stephen, Stephanie, Istvan, etc.) Since Steves represent roughly 1% of the US population, we can extrapolate those 987 signers to roughly 100,000 scientists who support the teaching of evolution, and oppose the teaching of creationism.

As Wikipedia points out: “Both Nobel Prize-winning Steves in science, Steven Chu and Steven Weinberg were among the first 100 Steves.” Weinberg was Steve #6.

It is encouraging to see an advocate of strong science education in charge of one of the largest science funding agencies.


  1. #1 James F
    December 10, 2008

    An outstanding choice, not to mention a one-two punch against AGW denialists and creationists!

  2. #2 Tatarize
    December 11, 2008

    I’m more impressed in that it means Obama takes science seriously. Having all the left-wing people tossing RFK’s name around for EPA had me slightly scared.

  3. #3 Lycosid
    December 14, 2008

    This is the first time since I started following politics that I’ve ever felt good about where my country may be headed. Outspoken scientists can make a difference, let’s hope we see Steven Chu’s opinions borne out.

    Now if we would only stop dicking the Palestinians over by giving unconditional support to the theocracy in Israel…

  4. #4 Neuroskeptic
    December 16, 2008