Scientists have the potential to be great leaders – indeed, to change the world – but we are sorely under-represented at the nation's highest levels...
SCENE: A parliamentary cabinet meeting. The PRIME MINISTER is sitting at the table, along with several other LOWLY WORMS.
PRIME MINISTER: Right, thanks for coming to this cabinet meeting everyone. As you know, this nation faces many difficult and serious problems, so we need to get right down to it, offering rigorous, science-based solutions to these problems.
LOWLY WORMS: (Right on, hear hear, good on you Prime Minister, how right you are, and so on.)
PRIME MINISTER: So, a number of voters have raised transport along the Pacific Highway as an issue with us. As I said before, it's important that we apply a rigorous, science-based approach to solving all our problems, isn't that right, Lowly Worm 1?
LOWLY WORM 1: That's right, Minister, and as modern road testing technology informs us....
PRIME MINISTER: (Dismissing LOWLY WORM 1 with a wave of his hand) That's all right, Lowly Worm 1. I know what the solution is. You may be the Transport Minister, but I am the Prime Minister. Yes, by applying a calmly analytical scientific eye to this situation, I have decided that nothing could be more suitable than explosions.
LOWLY WORM 1: Expl.... what, Prime Minister?
PRIME MINISTER: That's right! What could be more scientific than explosions? I've watched all the rigorous, science-based programs in which they apply rigorous, science-based solutions to stuff.
LOWLY WORM 2: Er, what programs would they be again Prime Minister?
PRIME MINISTER: Mythbusters, of course! They're full of explosions!
LOWLY WORM 2: They're not even on telly anymore!
PRIME MINISTER: That's why you're just the Lowly Worm and I'm the Prime Minister. I applied a rigorous scientific solution to that as well. I got the whole show on Netflix!
LOWLY WORM 1: Er, so about this road...
PRIME MINISTER: Yep. We're going to blow the whole thing up.
LOWLY WORM 1: Blow the.... blow the.... blow the... blow the....
PRIME MINISTER: It'll be so cool, there'll be all sorts of pretty colours, and we'll all get to pose in front of the gigantic fireball for a photo op. Yep, we're going to explode the whole thing.
LOWLY WORM 1: Blow the.... blow the... blow the...
LOWLY WORM 3: Perhaps if we move on, Prime Minister. Ehrm, there's been some dissatisfaction about our Department of Arts policy of saving money on grants, various artists have called on a resumption of earlier funding. Now, I have a report here, which, if we go over...
PRIME MINISTER: No, don't worry about that. Yes, Lowly Worm 3, I have examined all the evidence in a calm, rational sciency fashion and I have determined that we must apply the best of science to this problem, too, and make lots of explosions.
LOWLY WORM 3: (Buries head in hands) Explode.... what, Prime Minister? Not the artists, I trust?
PRIME MINISTER: Certainly not!
LOWLY WORM 3: The.... the art galleries?
PRIME MINISTER: (Shocked) Good heavens no. Do you take me for some barbarian? Though come to think of it, with all those lovely oil paintings they have... there would be a very striking abstract-impressionist effect to it all...
LOWLY WORM 3: We can't blow up the art galleries, Prime Minister!
PRIME MINISTER: No no, you're quite right. Yes, we'll just blow up the Department instead.
LOWLY WORM 3: Blow up the Department instead!
PRIME MINISTER: Don't worry, you'll all be evacuated prior to the explosion and given cushy jobs in other Departments. (Laughs jocularly). Look upon it as a form of extremely advanced Keynesian stimulus. Keynes was very sciency, you know.
LOWLY WORM 4: Perhaps we can come back to that. Prime Minister, let's discuss the environment now.
PRIME MINISTER: Yes, right you are. Again, let's apply the best of science to this problem and explode the bastard into smithereens.
LOWLY WORM 5: Explode the environment! Is there any national problem, you won't explode?
PRIME MINISTER: Now that's a very good question! I'm not sure if there's any rigorous science-based policy report on that. Maybe there was and I exploded it?
LOWLY WORM 5: Prime Minister, this nation faces many serious problems, including national security, a faltering economy, and poor jobs growth, and...
PRIME MINISTER: Explode, explode, explode. People. The science is clear.
LOWLY WORM 5: (Shouting now) The science doesn't say that at all! Science is about examining all the evidence and coming to rational conclusions...
PRIME MINISTER: Don't be ridiculous, Lowly Worm 5! Everyone knows science is about putting lots of fancy words together to make really cool explosions!
LOWLY WORM 5: (Splutters incoherently)
LOWLY WORM 6: Er.... perhaps we can resume this cabinet meeting soon, the time is running late, Prime Minister, and I think we all need a lunch break....
PRIME MINISTER: Quite so, Lowly Worm 6. Lowly Worms, let's all meet be back here in half an hour. (All file out). By the way, could I have some of yours? I exploded mine at home this morning, and for some reason it stuck to the ceiling instead of falling into my tupperware....