A group of US lawmakers are calling for the creation of a 'science laureate' post, ScienceInsider reports. Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) along with Representatives Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) have introduced a bill that would enable the president to choose an expert from a list developed by the National Academy of Sciences who would "travel around the country to inspire future scientists." The honorary position would last one to two years and would be similar to that of the poet laureate.
"At a time when our students are falling behind other countries in the scientific subjects, scientists should be engaged to help remedy that wrong for the good of the country," says Ryan Taylor, Sen. Wicker's communications director, according to Wired. Taylor adds that as this is a bipartisan bill, it may move quickly through the legislative process.
Mike Brown, an astronomer from Caltech, says, though, that such an expert should take on more high-profile tasks than speaking at schools. "You want the person with that national forum to be on The Daily Show ... or halftime of the Super Bowl," he tells NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday. "The goal would be to encourage the public to think about science and to understand science."
A few names are already being batted around, such as astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, physicist Brian Greene, or Brown himself.
Daily Scan, though, is partial to Dr. Bunsen Honeydew.