A Non Resident Indian scientist -- Dr Kalidas Shetty from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst -- is
among the US State Department's first five Jefferson Science Fellows.
Welcoming them at the State Department, Secretry of State Colin Powell said that the programme gives the State Department the opportunity to benefit from the counsel and experience of featured academic scientists.
"Over the coming year, these five individuals will be our scientific advisers and educators. They will bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to America's foreign policy," he said.
The other four Jefferson Science Fellows are Dr Julian Adams from the University of Michigan, Dr Bruce
Averill from the University of Toledo, Dr Melba Crawford from the University of Texas at Austin, and Dr David Eston from the University of California.
Powell said it is no coincidence that some of America's earliest diplomats like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were also devoted scientists.
But, said Powell amid laughter, to his knowledge, America has had only one other Secretary of State with a
background in science -- "me."
He explained that he has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology from the City College of New York. "Of course," he said laughing, "it was the only science department in the City College of New York that would
have me. I made a deal with the department. I promised my Geology professors that if they allowed me to get a BS degree, I would enter the Army with my ROTC commission and I would never practise geology or science again."
Now, more than ever, Powell said American science must enlighten American statecraft.