The faces of Capitol Hill are changing.
When the 116th Congress heads to Washington in January, there will be a record number of women in the ranks: at least 111, according to Axios. The halls of legislature will also boast America’s first Muslim women in Congress, the first Somali-American, and the first Native American women.
There will be more scientists, too.
On Tuesday, seven new science-credentialed candidates were elected: one new Senator and six new members of the House. Full results are not yet available in Washington state, where a pediatrician is also likely to be elected to the House.
In Congress right now, there is one PhD physicist, one microbiologist, and one chemist. There are also eight engineers and one PhD mathematician. The medical professions are slightly better represented, with three nurses and 15 doctors.
The new winners will bolster those science ranks. The candidates all ran successful campaigns with the support of a nonprofit political-action committee called 314 Action, which started in 2016 and is dedicated to recruiting, training, and funding scientists and healthcare workers who want to run for political office.
“Scientists are essentially problem-solvers,” Shaughnessy Naughton, president of 314 Action, told Business Insider before the election results came in.
Since Congress often wrestles with complex issues like climate change, cybersecurity, and how to provide fairer, cheaper healthcare, Naughton thinks the US should put more scientists into the decision-making body.
“Who better to be tackling these issues than scientists?” she said.
Here’s what to know about the new scientists heading to The Hill.
SEE ALSO: There are 21 scientists running for Congress — here’s what these engineers, physicians, and computer programmers want to do in DC
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Source:: Business Insider