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Home > News > Benjamin Franklin, Civic Scientist

October 1st, 2003

Benjamin Franklin, Civic Scientist

by Neal Lane. A scientist and a civic-minded activist, Benjamin Franklin called upon his scientific intuition and skills to address broad societal questions at the time the US was founded. He was in many ways a model of a civic scientist, a term I have often used in the past, perhaps without adequately defining it. To me, a civic scientist is one who uses his or her special scientific knowledge and skills to influence policy and inform the public. In this article, with Franklin's help, I expand that definition.

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