Senior politicians who are scientists – evidence driven public policy

The current (January) on-stand issue of Seed magazine in Australia features an article on Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany who is also a theoretical chemist.

As a mathematician interested in public policy and politics, I am interested in evidence-based public policy as opposed to ideologically-based or slogan-based public policy.

I am pleased when scientists become involved in politics and public policy, as the scientific approach of considered keen inquiry and analysis based on data is a good way to develop public policy. The outcomes of well-considered policy development are in general better than if policy development is not well-considered.

Of course, the fact that a particular politician is a scientist does not in and of itself mean that they are a better politician than politicians who are non-scientists, but it does mean that they are probably more likely to have a very analytical mindset, which can greatly help.

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