New legislation proposes the appointment of a public champion for research

The US could soon have a science laureate to champion the role of science in society. The legislation proposing the appointment has gained support from both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate.

Modelled on the poet laureate, the science laureate would serve for one to two years and would travel around the country to inspire future scientists. They would be chosen by the president from nominees suggested by the National Academy of Sciences. The honorary position would be unpaid and the post holder would be encouraged to carry on their scientific activities alongside the role.

‘To remain the world leader in a high-tech global marketplace, we must continue to inspire the innovators of tomorrow,’ said Lamar Smith, chairman of the committee on science, space and technology. He added that the science laureate would be ‘a role model who inspires students to pursue advanced degrees in science, math and engineering’.