Sagan’s Quotes: Charlie Rose Interview (1996) #6

According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, released on March 14th, out of the 535 people elected to Congress (435 in the House of Representatives and 100 in the Senate) there are “2 physicists, 6 engineers, and 1 microbiologist (all in the House, with the exception of 1 Senator who is an engineer).” That is exactly 9 members of Congress with a background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). If you do the math that comes out to 1.682242% or rounded up to 1.7% with any background in STEM*. Reading those numbers makes Carl Sagan’s next quote, said in the year 1996, seem more profound.


Living in a society based on science and technology:

“We live in an age based on science and technology with formidable technological powers … and if we don’t understand it, by ‘we’ I mean the general public, if it something that ‘oh I’m not good at that; I don’t know anything about it’; than who is making all the decisions about science and technology that are going to determine what kind of future are children live in, just some members of congress, but there is no more than a handful of members of congress with any background in science at all”


In Case You Haven’t Seen the Other Quotes Or Want to Get The Quotes in Full Context You Can See The Full Interview Here:

*There is also one astronaut in the Senate.


In Case You’re Interested:

I found an interesting article titled “Physicist Elected to Congress Calls for More Scientists-Statesmen”, from Scientific American, in which Representative from Illinois Bill Foster, who is a particle physicist and a businessman, discusses the lack of scientists in Congress and he would like to change that.



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