Fact or Fantasy: Science for Presidents
The President of the United States faces many problems unique to the office. As Commander and Chief, the President controls a nuclear arsenal, counters international terrorism and protects our borders. As Chief Executive, s/he must ensure reliable energy, safe food and abundant water. The President must protect the population from cyberattacks, epidemics and, anthropogenic (man induced) environmental disasters. S/he must assess whether new technologies, like drones and genetically modified organisms (GMO), may require federal regulations. Join us as we examine science issues a President must understand to make knowledgeable decisions in an ever-changing technical world. To quote President Lyndon B. Johnson, “A president’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.”
Jerry Clifford ‘68 graduated from Lawrence with a degree in Physics. In 1972 he got a PhD in Nuclear Physics from the Institute of Atomic Research at Iowa State University. He joined the Air Force, taught at the Air Force Academy, worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and researched particle beams and high-power microwave in Reagan’s Star Wars. In the ‘90s, Dr. Clifford examined bomb detection technologies after the Lockerbie PanAm disaster. Currently he teaches undergraduates physics and astronomy at California State University Channel Islands. Since 2004, he has also taught senior citizens at CSUCI’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in classes like Sounds of Music, Art & Visual Perception, How Things Work, Science & Conscience, Cosmology and El Nino-La Nina.