Thursday, February 08, 2018

Here come the scientists

You've probably heard about the unprecedented numbers of women running for office this year. Also perhaps the substantial contingent of vets from our forever wars who have jumped into the electoral fray. But did you know that, outraged by the Republican/Trump regime's disdain for climate change data and disciplined intellectual work in general, more than 200 candidates from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) backgrounds have come out to run for office this year?

Science expertise needs some bolstering in Congress. Grist reports that the science-oriented PAC 314 finds currently

one PhD physicist, one microbiologist, and a handful of engineers.

And these aspirants have a lot to overcome:

The scientist candidates won’t have it easy. Some are challenging incumbents, who are generally favored. And some opponents will have financial support from the fossil fuel industry and the Koch brothers, who are spending $400 million on the election this year.

Shaughnessy Naughton, founder and president of 314, says that’s to be expected: “There’s basically a direct correlation between money that the fossil fuel industry spends on candidates and their refusal to do anything about climate change.”

Two of 314's endorsed Congressional candidates are running in primaries in two of California's most contested seats: Hans Keirstead, a PhD. neuroscientist and stem cell researcher, is part of a crowd taking on GOPer Dana Rohrbacher in CA-48; Pediatrician Mai Khanh Tran aims to run against GOPer Ed Royce who hasn't faced much opposition in his Orange County CA-39 district for many years. Whether these two go on to the November ballot will be determined by the June 5 primary.

Poster noted while walking a working class San Francisco neighborhood.

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