Americans Are Sending Nine New Scientists To Congress, Bringing A Big Change To Capitol Hill

Congress will be gaining a biochemical engineer, an ocean expert, and a biochemist, amongst others, pushing science front and center in January.

Nine new scientists have just been elected to Congress.
Drop of Light / Shutterstock

Congress will be gaining a biochemical engineer, an ocean expert, and a biochemist, amongst others, pushing science front and center in January.

Americans are clearly craving change as Capitol Hill will soon be seeing nine new scientists that have just been elected to the 116th Congress, including one new senator and eight new members being added to the House of Representatives.

According to Business Insider, these new scientists will be heading to Washington in January and will be joining the record amount of women who have also just been elected. These new science-credentialed candidates will soon be added to the ranks of the 115th Congress, which currently holds one microbiologist, one physicist, one chemist, one mathematician, and eight engineers.

Besides these scientists, the 115th Congress also has a rather large amount of politicians who are specialists in the medical profession, including three veterinarians, three nurses, and 15 doctors.

When added to the previous Congress, the number of scientists and those specializing in science will only increase. As Shaughnessy Naughton of 314 Action has explained, this can only be a good thing as “scientists are essentially problem-solvers.” And with politicians grappling with serious issues like climate change, as Naughton noted, “Who better to be tackling these issues than scientists?”

As CNN report, Naughton also discussed the reality show circus that is currently fueling so much of politics today with Donald Trump as president and suggested that new scientists are sorely needed to help combat this.

“They bring a real wealth of experience that’s really lacking in Congress today. There are more reality show people in Congress, including our president, than there are chemists and physicists.”

Naughton claims that Donald Trump has spent his presidency so far fighting “a war on facts and truth,” and stated, “Traditionally among the scientific community the attitude has been science is above politics and shouldn’t involved in politics. Clearly that is not working.”

In terms of those who will be joining the 116th Congress with a science background, there will be three engineers, which includes Joe Cunningham, who will now hold the second Democratic seat in House District 1 for South Carolina, Democrat Elaine Luria, who won a House seat for Virginia in the 2nd District, and Chrissy Houlahan, who will be taking Pennsylvania’s 6th District seat. According to Naughton, “Her victory is a win for Democrats, women and pro-science advocates across the country.”

Biochemist Sean Casten was elected to a seat in the 6th District of Illinois and holds a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology and also managed to storm his way into Congress despite his district having mainly held Republicans since 1970.

With the mad world of politics that Americans are seeing today, the addition of nine new scientists to Congress is surely a welcome one.