I was delighted to read the timely letter by Dudley Greely of Cumberland (“Our politicians should heed credible scientific advice on vaccines, environment,” Feb. 7). It was gratifying that others are concerned about the need for legitimate science to play a more substantive role in the development of public policy.

I enthusiastically support Mr. Greely’s call for a Maine Academy of Sciences or a Science, Engineering, Technology Advisory Committee made up of five to seven credentialed professionals with a published record in respected, professional, peer-reviewed, scientific /technical journals.

Maine is blessed to have men and women in science, engineering and technology in a variety of respected Maine institutions who can meet these requirements. Such a body could be called upon, only as needed, to assist the Legislature and state agencies when complex issues arise.

Maine relies heavily on its natural resources for its economic and environmental well-being: wildlife (bears, moose, deer, fowl); fisheries (lobster, shellfish, aquaculture, etc.); forestry (harvesting, health, etc.); and geology (water, quarrying, mining aggregate, coastal processes, etc.).

Maine’s natural resource agencies – the departments of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; Marine Resources; Environmental Protection; and Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry – are all staffed by competent, well-trained, objective professionals who have produced a wealth of baseline data and analysis.

In spite of this, their credibility suffers because our fragmented resource agencies are diminished, rendering them vulnerable to challenges by ideological or crisis entrepreneurs, and they are perceived as “belonging” to outside interest groups.

We all know that these perceptions can be corrected by combining our natural resources agencies under the umbrella of a single strong, line-item Department of Natural Resources, as other states have done.

Make real science an integral part of the natural resources of Maine.

Walter A. Anderson

North Yarmouth