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"Presidential Science Advisors: Perspectives and Reflections on Science, Policy and Politics" edited by Roger Pielke, Jr. and Roberta Klein is now availablePresidential Science Advisors

August 2010

For the past 50 years a select group of scientists has provided advice to the US President, mostly out of the public eye, on issues ranging from the deployment of weapons to the launching of rockets to the moon to the use of stem cells to cure disease. The role of the presidential science advisor came under increasing scrutiny during the administration of George W. Bush, which was highly criticized by many for its use (and some say, misuse) of science. This edited volume includes, for the first time, the reflections of the presidential science advisors from Donald Hornig who served under Lyndon B. Johnson, to John Marburger, on their roles within both government and the scientific community. It provides an intimate glimpse into the inner workings of the White House, as well as the political realities of providing advice on scientific matters to the presidential of the United States. The reflections of the advisors are supplemented with critical analysis of the role of the science advisor by several well-recognized science policy practitioners and experts.

This volume will be of interest to science policy and presidential history scholars and students. This book will offer unique first-hand perspectives of the science advisors to the president, from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush. It includes some very unique history (e.g., Edward David’s chapter provides perspective on how President Nixon used the science advisor for political purposes that have been reported nowhere else to our knowledge).