There's been a long history of politicians neglecting science. In 1897, the Indiana State Legislature unanimously passed Public Law #246, which declared that pi = 3.2. More than a century later, a current member of the Science Committee explained that “evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell.” Yet, despite the occasional crackpot idea and politician, science policy remains a powerful tool for building a better world.
Bio: Francis Slakey is the Associate Director of Public Affairs for the American Physical Society where he oversees APS legislative activities, specializing in energy and security policy. He is also The Upjohn Lecturer on Physics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and author of the international best-selling adventure memoir "To The Last Breath".
Dr. Slakey received his PhD in Physics in 1992 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has written widely on science policy issues, publishing more than fifty articles for the popular press including The New York Times, Washington Post, and Scientific American. He has served in advisory positions for a diverse set of organizations including the National Geographic, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Creative Coalition - the political advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. He is a Fellow of the APS, a Fellow of the AAAS, and a Lemelson Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution.
Dr. Slakey is the first person in history to both summit the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean. In recognition of his adventures, as part of the 2002 Olympic Games, he carried the Olympic torch from the steps of the US Capitol.