Scientists running for office, Dave is this ok?
This post might be political in nature. Is this ok, Dave? I have been asked to run for political office. During the pandemic, I have been volunteering my time advising county commissioners, a US senator, and the state health department on testing issues and scientific matters. However, there is a strong preconceived notion that politicians have to be facilitators not the smart analytical type. What public perceptions obstacles do you believe need to be overcome for a scientist to be an elected government official? See articles: Four scientists who became world leaders - ABC News Look at Susan Fiske video 4:25 mark: Susan Fiske - YouTube Let's focus on the traits needed and obstacles, not irrelevant political matters, just like any other career transition. It really all about public service.
I do not generally have a problem with scientists running for office, except for the fact that most people who run for office do so (in my humble opinion) because they like the power of controlling other people's live. In your case (see my comment to your other post) you have exhibited a lack of good judgement in your own dealings, and I would suggest that you not inflict that on any constituency. Sorry if this is harsh, but after a couple of years of following your posts, I feel that the last thing you should do is to be in a position where you have an impact on other people's lives,
Dick, thanks for your opinion. However, I have had to deal with two difficult managers in the last ten years. The only way to deal with them has been to confront those individuals. I have openly shared my thoughts to possibly help others to identify reasonable managers or PIs. That's exactly the wrong reason to be an elected official, a power of controlling others lives. This should be apparent in the last year. Please note I have worked as an adjunct professor of biology and actively volunteer my time for several local nonprofits. I enjoy the public service aspects of these efforts plus helping local politicians. See my response in the other thread as to why I am trying to resolve this issue; otherwise, I can't use it on my resume. It will create a 2.5 year gap. Thanks
Just checking in, good to see some activity.
I have no issues with a scientist running for political office - provided they know what they are getting into. I do think most people who do enter politics via the traditional route, at first have a genuine interest - entering at a local level I think puts one closest to meeting need. Adding to Dick's point, I then think the moving away from local politics and up the government political structure brings out other motivation that are de-constructive to the original intent. Scientist and non-scientist alike. Some who have been scientist have been Gems, many have been quack pots.
That said, I personally would not run for political roles - I don't want people probing my life (basially your life becomes a public book). And that's an aspect, as part of personality, I would recommend one stays attentive to. Another aspect is personal integrity and knowing one's strengths and limitations. Self-awareness is fundamental as is courage.
However, for scientists, I recommend if one is interested in Politics, then I recommend one entry path, at that's Policy. There are many roles I think of very high importance and extremely high impact in the world of Policy - where one can live a political life without the public hoo ha ha in private life. And one can start to build a network and "political" support base for a future office, if one so get's the call the serve in that capacity.
And you get more political and potential scientific clout, if that is desired, when you have some form of measurable contribution to policy. Just my 2 cents career wise for people with science backgrounds as an entry point to politics...start with Policy.
Good Suggestion DX.
One way that many have started in policy is with an AAAS Science Policy Fellowship. That's a very clear path to success in that job category. See the link at: https://www.aaas.org/programs/science-technology-policy-fellowships
Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
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