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More and more scientists running for elected office




People hold up signs at a rally before the March for Science April 22, 2017 in New York. 
Scientists and their supporters across the globe are expected to march in the thousands Saturday amid growing anxiety over what many see as a mounting political assault on facts and evidence. / AFP PHOTO / Bryan R. Smith        (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
People hold up signs at a rally before the March for Science April 22, 2017 in New York. Scientists and their supporters across the globe are expected to march in the thousands Saturday amid growing anxiety over what many see as a mounting political assault on facts and evidence. / AFP PHOTO / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images

Some scientists are ditching their labs and running for elective office.  

As you might expect, there are lots of lawyers in politics, but just 10 out of  the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representative are trained scientists. 

There are some new candidates who hope to change this. For example, geologist Jess Phoenix is running in Southern California's 25th district, and Hans Keirstead, a stem-cell researcher, is running in Orange County.  

We spoke with David Siders, who wrote about this movement for Politico. 

"There's been some growing frustration, even during the Obama years, when you saw Republicans retake control of the House in 2011, President Obama had a hard time getting innovation spending through Congress. . . there was this frustration, especially among researchers who depend on the federal government for grants. But when Trump was elected, and especially with some of his cabinet appointments and then pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, that's where you saw really intense anxiety among scientists, and that's why you hear some of them saying 'I just felt like nobody else was running, I have to jump in.' And then of course, you hear from some of these scientists that they then learn that there are struggles to jumping in, and that there's some of these barriers to entry."

To listen to the full segment, click the blue play button above.