Thanks to the Trump administration's unabashed hostility toward climate change, science will no longer be confined to the parameters of a lab, as more than 200 people involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematicians) professions are actively announcing bids for legislature seats.
“When you look at the most important issues facing our country, it is climate change or healthcare policy or cyber security, the integrity of our elections. Who better to address these issues than a scientist?” Shaughnessy Naughton, founder and president of 314-PAC, a committee formed in support of scientists, told ABC News.
Naughton is a vocal advocate of greater representation by scientists in local politics. She wants to see more diversity of background and expertise, outside of law, among representatives.
The current administration’s denial of climate change has perturbed Naughton to the extent that she has taken it upon herself to nudge scientists into positions where they can work toward removing misapprehensions surrounding science in the government.
Not surprisingly, scientists are appalled by President Donald Trump’s well-documented hostile take on global warming.
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” the president tweeted in November 2012.
A lot of potential candidates endorsed by 314-PAC have spoken up about how something as dire as climate is being dealt with so recklessly by the Trump administration.
"We are seeing evidence-based decision making being thrown by the wayside by politicians today and so much divisive rhetoric determining how we approach our problems," said Grant Kier, a candidate hoping to overthrow Republican Greg Gianforte.
"I’m appalled when science becomes politicized. Representatives should be representative. Women doctors, that’s a missing voice at the table when we’re discussing reproductive rights, and issues surrounding women, children and health care,” said Kim Schrier, a Washington state pediatrician who aspires to be the only sitting female doctor in Congress.
Leah Askarinam, an analyst at Inside Elections, pointed out scientists are just one small part of a large movement of people from non-political backgrounds who wish to get on the ballot.
"There are a handful of people with backgrounds in science running that is part of a larger trend of people with non-political, non-partisan backgrounds running," Leah Askarinam told ABC News.
It's true. There is an unprecedented surge of first-time candidates, mostly women and Democratic, running for offices ranging from the U.S. Senate to local school boards.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters / Hannah McKay