Voting for Science
“I do not share your view that the scientist should observe silence in political matters”
Albert Einstein, 1933
The recent 2018 midterm elections had many on the edge of their seats as highly contested races all across the country finally came to a conclusion. While the historic election saw 112 women elected to Congress -the most women to serve at once in history- and a significant increase in voter turnout for previously politically stagnant states like Texas, the election of numerous candidates with STEM backgrounds have made headlines in what political commentators are calling the “STEM wave”. At the end of election night, 9 new lawmakers with STEM-related backgrounds were elected to Congress. Among some of the newly elected congressmen with STEM backgrounds are Dr. Kim Schrier, Elaine Luria, and Sean Casten.
Dr. Kim Schrier, a pediatrician and first time candidate, was elected to Washington’s 8th congressional district on a platform that highlighted her experience caring for families in her district to improve health care accessibility and affordability.
Elaine Luria, a Navy veteran and nuclear engineer, is member-elect for Virginia’s 2nd congressional district. As one of the first women to attend the US Naval Nuclear Power School, Luria’s campaign emphasized her knowledge on foreign and domestic threats to national security.
Sean Casten was elected to represent Illinois’s 6th district in the House of Representatives. With a background in molecular biology and biochemistry, Casten campaigned on the importance of clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As issues such as climate change, federal research funding, environmental conservation, and cybersecurity appear on legislative dockets, it is critical that lawmakers with expertise on these issues have a seat at the table. Science may seem far removed from the political and legislative process, even antagonized and vilified at times. However, representatives like Kim Schrier, Elaine Luria, Sean Casten, and many others aim to close the gap between these disciplines to the benefit of all.
What can you do to help promote science in government?
Join/Donate to pro-science organizations: 314 Action
Demonstrate: March for Science
Stay informed: Track science related legislation
DrKimSchrier. (n.d.). Home. Retrieved from https://www.drkimschrier.com/
Elaine for Congress. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://elaineforcongress.com/
About Sean. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://castenforcongress.com/about/