Scientists and Engineers in Congress

Posted on March 9, 2008  Comments (2)

A list of Congressmen with science PhDs: Vernon Ehlers, Michigan, physics PhD; Rush Holt, New Jersey, physics PhD; John Olver, Massachusetts, chemistry PhD; Brian Baird, Washington, psychology PhD; and now Bill Foster, Illinois, physics PhD. Other scientists, engineers and mathematicians include: Ron Paul, Texas, biology BS, MD; Jerry McNerney, California, math PhD; Dan Lipinski, Illinois, mechanical engineering BS, engineering-economic systems MS; Nancy Boyda, Kansas, chemistry BS; Cliff Stearns, Florida, electrical engineering BS; Joe Barton, Texas, industrial engineering BS. Please comment with additions.

Another Scientist in Congress!

He is not just any old particle physicist, but quite an accomplished one, having been a co-inventor of Fermilab’s antiproton Recycler Ring. Once you’ve mastered antiprotons, the Washington political process should be child’s play. Congratulations!

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Vernon Ehlers – “After three years of studying at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Ehlers transferred and received his undergraduate degree in physics and his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1960. After six years teaching and research at Berkeley, he moved back to Grand Rapids to Calvin College in 1966 where he taught physics for 16 years and later served as chairman of the Physics Department. During his tenure at Calvin, Ehlers also served as a volunteer science advisor to then-Congressman Gerald R. Ford.”

Russ Holt – Rep. Holt earned his B.A. in Physics from Carleton College in Minnesota and completed his Master’s and Ph.D. at NYU. He has held positions as a teacher, Congressional Science Fellow, and arms control expert at the U.S. State Department where he monitored the nuclear programs of countries such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union. From 1989 until he launched his 1998 congressional campaign, Holt was Assistant Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, the largest research facility of Princeton University and the largest center for research in alternative energy in New Jersey. He has conducted extensive research on alternative energy and has his own patent for a solar energy device. Holt was also a five-time winner of the game show “Jeopardy.”

Jerry McNerney – “McNerney, who has his PhD in mathematics, served several years at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico as a national security contractor. Then McNerney moved to California, accepting a senior engineering position with US Windpower, Kenetech, and in 1994 began working as an energy consultant for PG&E, FloWind, the Electric Power Research Institute, and other utility companies. Prior to his election to Congress, he served as the CEO of a start-up company that manufactures wind turbines.”

John W. Olver – “Olver was a chemistry professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Olver earned his B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his M.A. from Tufts University, and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

Dr. Baird received his B.S. from the University of Utah, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1977. He continued on to the University of Wyoming, receiving his M.S. and PhD in clinical psychology.

Ron Paul – “He graduated from Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, before proudly serving as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s”

Congressman Dan Lipinski earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University, a Master’s Degree in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University, and a PhD in Political Science from Duke University.

Nancy Boyda – “Nancy graduated with honors from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where she received dual degrees in chemistry and education. She began her career in 1978 working as an analytical chemist and field inspector for the Environmental Protection Agency. Over the next two decades, she held management positions in several pharmaceutical companies, including Marion Laboratories.”

Cliff Stearns – “He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering [from George Washington University] and then started his four years of service in the Air Force. Serving during the Vietnam War, Stearns worked as an aerospace engineer in satellite reconnaissance. He left the service with the rank of Captain.”

Joe L. Barton – “An avid baseball player growing up, he earned a four-year Gifford-Hill Opportunity Award scholarship to Texas A&M University, where he was the outstanding industrial engineering student for the Class of 1972. After earning a Master’s of Science degree in Industrial Administration from Purdue University, he joined Ennis Business Forms, where he rose to the position of Assistant to the Vice President. In 1981, he was selected for the prestigious White House Fellows Program, and served as an aide to then-Energy Secretary James B. Edwards. He returned to Texas in 1982 as a natural gas decontrol consultant for Atlantic Richfield Oil and Gas Company before being elected to Congress.”

2 Responses to “Scientists and Engineers in Congress”

  1. David Lee
    March 9th, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

    Should we count medical doctors who don’t do research? I’m think of that idiot republican heart surgeon. Surely he’s not a scientist?

  2. Rachel Clarkson
    May 28th, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

    I think it’s great that the congress is having Scientists and Engineers on board, they are respected educated people and I am sure they have a lot to bring to the table. I say, keep them coming!

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