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A Science Laureate for the United States?

A bipartisan group of Congressional lawmakers wants the United States to have a Science Laureate. Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) yesterday introduced legislation that would empower the president to select a "nationally renowned expert" who would "travel around the country to inspire future scientists," according to a statement released by Hirono's office.

"Like the Poet Laureate, the Science Laureate would be an unpaid, honorary post," according to the statement. The laureate would serve a 1- or 2-year term, and "would also be encouraged to continue their important scientific work." Nominees would be vetted by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

"The U.S. Science Laureate will be a national role model who can encourage students to learn more about the sciences," Hirono said in the statement. "By elevating great American scientific communicators, we can empower students - especially girls and minorities - to get excited about science."

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