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Why Work With Congress?

Anthony Fauci talks with President Clinton about the AIDS virus. | Courtesy: Anthony Fauci.

Scientists and politicians come from two vastly different cultures with their own languages, their own values, and their own decision-making methods. Yet they have to communicate on some of the world’s most pressing issues. This requires willingness on both sides to consider the other’s priorities and to cooperate on developing solutions.

Scientists must work with Congress because they have knowledge and expertise that policymakers lack—just as scientists lack the expertise of policymakers. By working with Congress, scientists can ensure that policy decisions are made with an understanding of their scientific foundations and implications.

Further Reading:

Groups Call for Scientists to Engage the Body Politic by Cornelia Dean, New York Times
Often Distant From Policy Making, Scientists Try to Find a Public Voice by Paul Basken, Chronicle of Higher Education
Let Science Inform Policy by Anthony Fauci, Nature
How to Lose Your Political Virginity While Keeping Your Scientific Credibility by David Blockstein, Bioscience