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Has Steven Chu been a good US energy secretary?

By James Dacey

Photo of Steven Chu

Nobel laureate Steven Chu. (Courtesy: DOE)

The Nobel laureate Steven Chu has recently announced that he is to resign from the role of US energy secretary. He will step down from the post at the end of February having served throughout the entire four years of Barack Obama’s first presidential term. During his reign, Chu has received strong plaudits from many Democrats and environmentalists. Obama has credited Chu for increasing the nation’s use of renewable energy while reducing its dependence on oil imports.

Others, however, have been critical of Chu. He is accused of specific failures such as the initiatives that led to the downfall of Solyndra – a solar-cell manufacturer that went bankrupt after receiving $535m in Department of Energy loan guarantees. A more general criticism when Chu was appointed was that he had very little political experience to carry out such a critical role in the governance of the US.

What do you think about Chu’s term in the President’s cabinet? Let us know by taking part in this week’s Facebook poll.

Has Steven Chu been a good US energy secretary?


Feel free to explain your choice by leaving a comment either on this blog post or on our Facebook page.

In last week’s poll we asked you a question on the topic of science communication. We have recently relaunched our blog, so we asked “What’s the most important feature of a successful science blog?”. The majority of people – 64% – believe that the “quality of writing” is the most important factor. The second most popular choice, with 20% of the votes, was the “scientific authority of the blogger”. And the third most popular, with 10%, was “a bloggers passion for their subject(s)”.

A number of voters also posted comments, including one of our Facebook followers named Paul Warbeck. He wrote “The language must have clarity; it must be succinct; it need not be comprehensive of all the implications of every fact, but it must excite the reader’s imagination, fuel his/her speculation, and incite wonder. It must foster profound understanding.”

Thank you for all you participation and we hope to hear from you again in this week’s poll.

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  1. Roto

    Mr Chu is no dummy, but perhaps not the best
    suited to be the Energy Secretary. No
    industrial experience is a definite negative.
    I’m not convinced his efforts have been
    practical on the whole. Renewables are fine
    but I think more emphasis should have been
    given to fusion and advanced fission. I
    can’t fault his efforts on renewables. That
    was going to be tough no matter what.

  2. M. Asghar

    Mr. CHu’s empahsis on the renewables was the right thing to do, because these are going to be the decentralised and everbody’s energies. As to fusion, it is still a project as it has been for the six decades and the fission reactors are being improved upon all the time, but we still we do not know as to how to treat the nuclear waste and dismantle methodically the out of business nuclear ractors.

  3. Trackback: Blog -


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