If only I were referring to the United States on this one. Sadly, no.
Conservatives in the UK are to get mandatory lessons in scientific literacy as a part of a new plan to strengthen evidence-based policy-making. They will be versed in the scientific method and basic concepts as part of the induction program for all MPs. Sitting members and peers will be allowed to attend as well.
The plan, drawn up by Adam Afriyie, the party’s spokesman for science and innovation, aims to address concerns about the overall lack of scientific expertise and understanding in the House of Commons and Whitehall. Criticism has been directed at the Parliament and the Civil Service because their members come from predominately humanities, law and business backgrounds despite scientific challenges like global warming and stem cell research becoming increasingly important political issues.
The plan signals a new emphasis on science as an important policy area for the Conservatives, whose 2005 manifesto didn't include the word 'science' once.
If only the Conservatives in the U.S. could learn from this. Hell, let's get everyone involved - mandatory science lessons for all federally elected officials. Why not? What could it really hurt to have a basic understanding of the methods and concepts that drive a good number of policies they must decide on?
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