The US government established science envoys (scientists as part of the diplomatic service) in 2009. According to this Sept. 19, 2010 posting on the Pasco Phronesis, three more people have been appointed,
The newest science envoys are:
Dr. Rita Colwell, former Director of the National Science Foundation. Her background is in biotechnology and microbiology, and her current research interests include infectious diseases.
Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, an agronomist at Purdue University and a native of Ethiopia. His research interests focus on sorghum, an important cereal and feed crop worldwide.
Dr. Alice Gast, president of Lehigh University. Dr. Gast has a background in chemical engineering, and served as the vice president for research at MIT prior to becoming the Lehigh President.
(You can get links and more details from Pasco Phronesis.) I find this introduction of science into areas that I don’t ordinarily associate with it quite interesting. Here’s another example also from Pasco Phronesis, science with US style football (Sept. 17, 2010 posting),
Continuing a project started during the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, NBC has partnered with the National Football League (NFL) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide science content to augment the network’s football coverage. With the help of high-speed cameras, a scientist (most sponsored by NSF) will introduce a scientific principle and a former or current NFL player will explain how the principle applies to their position. Scientific fields represented include kinesiology, engineering and nutrition.
David (Pasco Phronesis) goes on to suggest that a segment on concussions (not currently part of the series) would be a good idea and I have to agree with him on that one.
To my delight I found that Science Cheerleader (Darlene Cavalier) helped develop this program (from her Sept. 9, 2010 posting),
Man, this was one of the most exciting projects I’ve ever worked on (partnership director). I originally pitched this as the Science of Pro Cheerleading but, what the heck, this ain’t too shabby. Huge round of applause to the National Science Foundation for making this possible. Together, with the incomparable professionals at NBC and NFL, we present to you, the Science of NFL Football….with a few procheerleaders-turned-scientists- and engineers sprinkled in here and there. Can’t help it. And, these gals do a great job inspiring young women to consider careers in science and technology so SciCheer is broadening the distribution of this series. We will debut new video stories every week for the next seven weeks.
Given her engaging perspective, I imagine the US National Football League’s and NBC series will also be engaging and creative.
Both David and Darlene have made me realize just how much science is being snuck into unexpected places these days. This reminded me that Dancing with the Stars also had a science segment. One of the nights they broadcast the show (can’t remember which season), they included information about the kinesiology and physics of ballroom dancing and compared dancers to athletes. Science is everywhere.