In Barack Obama’s cabinet.

My take: He’s way overqualified.  We need great minds doing science, not minding the bureaucracy.  It is a loss for academia, and may or may not be a gain for our government.

Obama’s best pick thus far, politically, by a long shot.  Much more outside of the box than, say Bill Richardson.  It is likely that Chu will not be making as much money at Energy as Blagojevich implied.  Again, politically, it is an amazing pick.  Time will tell how effective a brilliant mind like Chu can handle a mundane bureaucratic job like a cabinet position.

Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Chu is nominated as Energy Secretary
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2 thoughts on “Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Chu is nominated as Energy Secretary

  • In response to Johnnyb, Dr Chu already is doing a bureaucratic job as director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has been in management for a while now setting policies for the lab and working within the DOE. Sure brilliant people need to be doing science in labs, but we also need brilliant people setting science policy in this country. It will be great to have a real scientist in the cabinet.

  • KA,

    Sure, I know he isn’t behind the bench any more, and that he is essentially a bureaucrat managing science. But in academics Dr. Chu can run the Berkeley lab like a fiefdom based on the science he wishes to pursue. Barack Obama, and by extension Dr. Chu, cannot afford to set energy policy in this way.

    I agree that it is good to see a real scientist in the cabinet. I completely agree that setting science policy should be the job of a scientist, which is why Dr. Chu would be a great director of the NSF. But energy policy is dictated more by economics than science. I hope that Dr. Chu understands that, and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one. Thanks for the thoughtful comment and do stop by again.

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