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Science History Podcast

Feb 11, 2018

Attacks on science and scientists have been a hallmark of the Trump administration, but such attacks emanating from the U.S. federal government are not new, nor are they restricted to one political party or one branch of government.  The best known of such attacks came from Bill Proxmire, who served in the Senate as a Democrat representing the state of Wisconsin from 1957-1989.  Proxmire achieved national recognition with his monthly Golden Fleece Awards, in which he mocked what he considered to be wasteful government spending.  After Proxmire retired from the Senate, other members of Congress took over the job of calling out what they saw as wasteful government spending on science in their own so-called wastebooks. My first guest is Melinda Baldwin, who comments on the history of the Golden Fleece Award and subsequent wastebooks.  My second guest is Josh Shiode, who comments on the history of an award designed to celebrate science - the Golden Goose Award.