Presidential Science Advisors

Perspectives and Reflections on Science, Policy and Politics

  • Roger Pielke
  • Roberta A. Klein

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Overview and Critique of Presidential Science Advising: Introduction

  3. The Science Advisors in Their Own Words

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Donald Hornig
      Pages 19-27
    3. Frank Press, Philip M. Smith
      Pages 37-56
    4. John H. Gibbons
      Pages 65-90
    5. John H. Marburger III
      Pages 103-118
  4. A View from the Hill: Introduction

  5. Synthesis and Critique

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 147-147
    2. Roger Pielke Jr, Roberta Klein
      Pages 149-167
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 169-179

About this book


For the past 50 years a select group of scientists has provided advice to the US President, mostly out of the public eye, on issues ranging from the deployment of weapons to the launching of rockets to the moon to the use of stem cells to cure disease.  The role of the presidential science adviser came under increasing scrutiny during the administration of George W. Bush, which was highly criticized by many for its use (and some say, misuse) of science. This edited volume includes, for the first time, the reflections of the presidential science advisers from Donald Hornig who served under Lyndon B. Johnson, to John Marburger, the previous science advisor, on their roles within both government and the scientific community.  It provides an intimate glimpse into the inner workings of the White House, as well as the political realities of providing advice on scientific matters to the presidential of the United States. The reflections of the advisers are supplemented with critical analysis of the role of the science adviser by several well-recognized science policy practitioners and experts. This volume will be of interest to science policy and presidential history scholars and students.


Advisors Director, Office of Science and Presidents Technology Policy politics presidential science advisor science science advisor to the president

Editors and affiliations

  • Roger Pielke
    • 1
  • Roberta A. Klein
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Science & Technology, Policy ResearchUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Cooperative Institute for Research in, Environmental Sciences (CIRES)University of Colorado, BoulderBoulderUSA

Bibliographic information