There’s a gap there, between scientific advisors and government. Whilst scientists want to remain impartial and merely provide the information to ministers on which they can make ultimate decisions, it results in a tragic discontinuity in thinking.
The job of scientists is problem-solving. The very definition of science. Engineers are some of the purest practitioners of taking what’s been learned through science, applying thorough analytical thought and making pragmatic decisions.
When you listen to science podcasts and listen to those same scientific advisors and others, see their quotes in the news, there’s a painful jarring between what they say (as a result of all of this painstaking, careful experiment and thought) and what actually gets done. There is even stated pride in the fact that they don’t purport to lead, but merely guide ministers to decisions. Not even in occasional situations where there is only one choice. And so the thinking and process which they describe is so stunningly-jarring with the outcomes which we see in the news. It’s so wasted.
There is no great requirement on government ministers to be good at or practiced in this kind of rigorous, analytical, problem-solving thinking. And in practice they tend not to be good at it at all, especially given the obvious ego-driven interests which they so often display.
It’s a shame, then, that as we have engineers and architects whom make important, sound decisions in construction projects— resulting in some of the world’s great wonders, no less— that we don’t have the same kind of process behind decisions on running the country. You could say that we almost do, but then it’s like there’s a thin air gap right at the end across which good ideas are not easily transmitted and received!¹
¹ The analogy works quite well— it’s like a boundary between two different media resulting in the refraction and dispersal of consistent, focused thought. Due to the speed of thought being different on either side of the boundary 😆.