Book Review: Physics for Future Presidents by Richard Muller

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Physics for Future Presidents” should be required reading for every candidate for Federal office. Professor Richard A. Muller, past recipient of a MacArthur grant and professor of physics as University of California, Berkeley, provides the basic physics knowledge necessary for a President to make informed and responsible policy decisions.

As a scientist, Muller refrains from most editorializing about what policy is good or bad in favor of providing the scientific facts that should inform our debate. This is no small feat when covering controversial topics like terrorism, nuclear weapons, and global warming.

People are scared of things they don’t understand, especially when those things have killed people. Understanding the physics behind different kinds of nuclear weapons, dirty bombs, and biological agents puts those fears in their proper context and provides tools for candidates to present effective responses when their opponents are pushing fear and alarmism.

Reading this book doesn’t guarantee that you will be elected president; there are many presidents who clearly never read anything like it. But it will make sure you know more about the science behind the policy than most of the other people in the room.

Bonus: Watch a 2009 interview with Professor Muller about the book.

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