Physics the Next President Needs to Know

From Wired:

Physics may be the furthest thing from the minds of the presidential candidates right now, but a solid grasp of the science behind some of the latest headlines will be critical for the winner.

Physics has a history of intersecting with politics in ways both large and small, from the creation of the atomic bomb to nuclear meltdowns to terrorist methods. And now, with more specialized, high-tech issues to tackle than ever before, it is increasingly important that world leaders have an understanding of the underlying scientific concepts.

But that’s not necessarily the case, says UC Berkeley physicist Richard Muller, author of the book Physics for Future Presidents. For example, he argues that some terrorist threats, like dirty bombs, are overrated, while others, the low-tech stuff like natural gas bombs, receive little attention.

“I do not have a sense from the campaigns that the candidates really know this stuff,” Muller told “And I don’t expect them to. In the past, it’s been the secret knowledge of the scientists who say, ‘Pick me as your science adviser, and I’ll tell you what to do.”

But Muller wants to change that with his non-partisan take on issues like global warming, energy, nuclear weapons, and space. He demurred on who he wants to see elected, or thinks will be. All that matters to him is that whoever wins brings the right approach to their policy decisions.

“What you have to do is give the president a knowledge base, so they can make knowledge-based decisions.” Muller said. “I say those things that I hope will be heard.”

In this Q & A, Muller discusses dirty bombs, space robotics and clean coal.

[Read more at Wired]

4 Comments on "Physics the Next President Needs to Know"

  1. annadomas | Feb 27, 2010 at 4:29 am |

    Would like to send a letter to the Editor

  2. annadomas | Feb 27, 2010 at 4:30 am |

    Save the Whale; Save the Dolphin; Save the Butterfly; Save the Bee;


    Can we really believe that this is the only life in our spirit, to the point of planetary destruction? What about your child, niece, nephew, grandchild, what about your ancestry and all those whom did give us all that we have, is this what we want to give our children? Why have children? If you believe the end is so near you can abuse and deplete all that our planet has to offer. Then this is the time of insanity which defines self destruction; unconscious ruin; lunacy! Can we consciously destroy our own world and laugh in its face? Because that is exactly what we are doing. A change has to come or it is over for all of us and ours, and your’s and their’s too. For what we think is the only living being intelligent planet that exists, we sure are careless with our future. Is it an out of sight out of mind thing or are we just so self destructive we refuse to see what is right in front of our face‘s. Excuse me! As I am embarrassed, appalled and mortified to think this is going to happen right before our eyes. Ignorance is bliss only if you are unaware! We are aware, we are technological giants, we are educated in our own format, this is what our ancestors were working toward. Will we laugh in the faces that brought us here or will we conquer these petty, ridiculous, blatant, irresponsibility’s. We have yet to see. While more and more of us are becoming consciously awake (aware) to what is reality, is there still enough time, or has evolution failed us in that we are not awakening fast enough. Is it because we really don’t deserve it with our past history up to today do we deserve to continue down the road of evolution to the great extended spiritual beings we are all capable of and longing for. My thoughts and ideas are somewhat confused as I am aware and can see this clear as day. Its like hearing one of those people sing who obviously cannot hear themselves as they are flat and out of tune, although enjoying themselves immensely. This is unaware to the point of self destruction or is it just bad ears (hearing)? Or is it evolution in the raw and we do know we will exist in the end because our audacity of self worth an entitlement gives us that if nothing else. We have polluted our soils and waters to the point of stupidity? I actually think these are a good questions. I know we have checked, some where on some-ones back logged studies of everything (because, you know someone is being paid to know all this stuff), the facts are there. Why are they being paid to do a job that know one is willing to head. Why do we question our sciences rather than learn and listen? To listen is nothing, its natural, but somehow we have made it hard. To hear is an underappreciated sense in our world. We are not hearing by choice as the world is not saying what we want to hear. This syndrome is laughed and joked about but is more prevalent everyday. By choosing not to head the warnings abundantly obvious, we are choosing to leave our destinations to fate. Yes this is what we are choosing. Yes this is a conscious choice as humanities consciousness has never been more awake or aware than today. This is our last great frontier, to act when it is not in our favor, to speak when we are silenced. To do what needs to be done even though it would change our whole world and our whole being. This sacrifice (as we see it) holds the key to our never-ending, to our evolutionary process. No-one knows exactly what or how any of this takes place or how it will be in the future but we seem to be running scared instead of standing tall and facing our enemy (ourselves). They say people only change after great despair or destruction, the precipice. Although it is evolutionary to break these bad habits and prevent destruction, it is evolutionary to go beyond ourselves and rise above the pettiness and or greed (mostly greed), To be a stand up human being and stop the insanity, be the one changes how humanity hears and sees their own future. Not by promising anything more than simple, healthy, productive lives. What more do we really want anyway? Fancy, shiny, expensive tangible items, that as my mother used to say, “won’t keep you warm at night” . Or do we want true lives of honor and integrity, Simple pleasures and love. I really don’t believe our planet has an expiration date, nor do I think it is invincible. I think it is our duty to conserve, preserve and promote our planets health or it will be us who pay the ultimate price.

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