What examples can you find of these? I want the list to include people who satisfy two criteria: (a) Major political leader = king, president, prime-minister, very senior cabinet minister, mayor of capital, something in this league. (b) Scientist = someone who has actively worked in science (published papers or books) or at the very least had an impressive career in industrial R&D (with technical accomplishments, not just as a bureuacrat).

One example: Chaim Weizmann. Another, less obvious one which makes the cut nevertheless: Yury Luzhkov

EDIT: Adding from answers: Angela Merkel, Tony Tan.

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    Angela Merkel is physical chemist. – knut Dec 20 '12 at 19:45
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    Assembling a list of examples doesn't really work well with the Q&A format, I'm afraid I'll have to vote to close. There are quite a few scientists who turned into politics, both China's premier, Wen Jiabao, and China's president, Hu Jintao, have backgrounds in engineering, for example. Angela Merkel has a doctorate in physical chemistry, and if your question includes political scientists then the list goes on ad infinitum. – yannis Dec 20 '12 at 19:48
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    Sorry, Yannis is right. Even if you ask about only one specific type of scientist, you are still asking for a list, and not an answer. – Steven Drennon Dec 20 '12 at 23:12
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    You may find economist.com/node/13496638 of interest. – choster Dec 21 '12 at 0:06
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    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned good old Benjamin Franklin. – two sheds Feb 11 '15 at 16:42

Steven Chu comes to mind.

Other candidates might include

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  • Impressive list, but most of the people on it are rather civil servants. Steven Chu is borderline - I guess that his position is also more akin to that of civil servant to that of an elected leader, although formally it makes the cut. Also, I'd like to limit the science part to "hard sciences". – Felix Goldberg Dec 20 '12 at 20:23
  • @FelixGoldberg Papademos was prime minister of Greece for a few months. – yannis Dec 20 '12 at 20:32
  • @YannisRizos: But his Ph.D. is in economics. – Felix Goldberg Dec 20 '12 at 20:48
  • @FelixGoldberg Yes, I was talking more about the "civil servant" part. Although he wasn't elected as a prime minister, he was appointed in a provisional government, so probably he fails both your criteria. – yannis Dec 20 '12 at 20:50
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    @YannisRizos: Provisional government can do, but economics is a sinker... – Felix Goldberg Dec 20 '12 at 20:53

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