Dear President Trump:
Fifty-five years ago this week President John F. Kennedy hosted a dinner honoring Nobel Prize laureate scientists, remarking:
I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.
In fact, Kennedy added, the author of the Declaration of Independence and 3rd President of the United States “could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, and dance the minuet.”
From the earliest days of our nation, science has been at the forefront of what makes America great. Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Adams and many of the other founding fathers were either practicing scientists or were trained in the sciences. They deliberately adapted the scientific method of gathering data, running experiments, and testing hypotheses to their construction of our nation. Their understanding of the provisional nature of findings led them to develop a political system in which doubt and disputation were the centerpieces of a functional polity.