This came my way today:

Lugar Introduces United States Science Envoys Bill

U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar today introduced a bill establishing “United States Science Envoys” to highlight our nation’s commitment to scientific research and education, as well as our willingness to collaborate with other countries to promote advancements in these fields throughout the world.  Science Envoys will serve not only as good-will ambassadors, but help reinforce links between U.S. academic and scientific institutions and their international counterparts.

“Science and technology provide non-controversial avenues through which we can build relationships that will strengthen not only our institutions, but foster greater understanding between our nation and the rest of the world,” said Lugar.  “These Envoys will be recognized world leaders in their fields of expertise and will demonstrate that the United States is serious about engaging other nations in issues of mutual benefit and concern in science and research.”

The United States has produced more Nobel Laureates than any other nation in Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Economics. Recognition of U.S. expertise in these fields is reflected in consistent international opinion polls that show even those nations that disagree with the United States on certain foreign policy issues, admire the United States for our leadership in education, science and technology.

Scientific cooperation served as a means to engage with the Soviet Union throughout the 1970s and 80s and with the People’s Republic of China before official diplomatic ties were fully established.

Lugar’s legislation establishes the Science Envoy program and directs that it be run by the Department of State through its Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Envoys will be selected by the Secretary of State.

Have I mentioned how much I love my country lately?