Scientists should be running for public office, and this PAC wants to help them run

314 Action's executive director says they will provide "EMILY’s List-like support" to scientists seeking office

By Matthew Rozsa

Published May 2, 2017 5:35PM (EDT)

 (Getty/Brendan Smialowski)
(Getty/Brendan Smialowski)

It was one thing for thousands of ordinary Americans to take to the streets in a march for science, but a new nonprofit wants the scientists to start taking over in politics.

Just as EMILY's List tries to recruit women to run for political office, so too is 314 Action (named after the first three digits of pi) trying to recruit scientists to seek elected office, according to a report by The Hill. The group was founded by a chemist named Shaughnessy Naughton after she unsuccessfully ran for Congress twice in Pennsylvania, and although she acknowledges that the prevailing sentiment among scientists is that "science is above politics," she also told The Hill that not getting involved in politics is actually damaging the interests of the scientific community.

"There’s nobody who’s recruiting, training and providing the EMILY’s List-like support for the scientists and technical folks running for Congress,"As 314 Action executive director Joshua Morrow told The Hill. "There’s really no organization that is harnessing the power of this community."

Morrow added, "It’s no longer really a war on science; it’s a war on facts. Facts are now opinions with these guys."

Currently the only Ph.D. scientist in Congress is Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., and the only one with a Ph.D. in mathematics is Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif. 314 Action plans on primarily targeting anti-science members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology — including Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas (whose seat is considered safe), as well as two California congressmen from competitive districts, Dana Rohrabacher and Steve Knight.


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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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2018 Elections Donald Trump Republican Party Scientists War On Science