Coming Soon To Your Bookshelf – Collection of Marburger Writings

Coming next month from Harvard University Press is Science Policy Up Close, an edited collection of writings from former presidential science adviser John Marburger.  Edited by Robert Crease, the book covers much more of Marburger’s life than his tenure as the longest serving science adviser (current occupant John Holdren should take that distinction in early 2016).

The first half of the book covers Marburger’s extensive service prior to joining the George W. Bush Administration.  Marburger chaired the organization that oversaw construction of the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) project, and chaired the Shoreham Commission, a New York State panel in the early 1980s that assessed the safety and other concerns surrounding the Shoreham nuclear power plant.

I have seen one review of the book so far, in Nature (you should be able to access a ReadCube version without a subscription).  Written by Sir Peter Gluckman, the chief science adviser to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the review reads as though Sir Peter is frustrated by what is not covered as much as he may respect what is in the book.  Regrettably, Dr. Marburger passed in 2011, and may not have had much input into this project.

I do not yet have a copy of the book, and hope to get my hands on it at some point.  I am interested to see how Marburger’s explorations of the science of science policy are addressed – it would appear to be in the last chapter of the book.  Assuming I can tackle my reading piles (measured in fractions of my height), expect a post on the book sometime this year.

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