Engineers and Scientists in Congress

Posted on December 9, 2008  Comments (1)

I started maintaining a list of Congressmen with PhDs and graduate degrees in science, engineering and math awhile back.

Please comment with any additions that you know of.

The following were re-elected:
Vernon Ehlers, Michigan, physics PhD; Rush Holt, New Jersey, physics PhD; John Olver, Massachusetts, chemistry PhD; Brian Baird, Washington, psychology PhD; Bill Foster, Illinois, physics PhD.

Other scientists, engineers and mathematicians that were reelected include: Ron Paul, Texas, biology BS, MD; Jerry McNerney, California, mathematics PhD; Dan Lipinski, Illinois, mechanical engineering BS, engineering-economic systems MS; Todd Akin, Mississippi, management engineering BS;Cliff Stearns, Florida, electrical engineering BS; Louise Slaughter, New York, microbiology BS; Joe Barton, Texas, industrial engineering BS, Pete Stark, California, engineering BS, Mike Honda, California.

Lost: Nancy Boyda, Kansas (BS chemistry).

Newly elected: Bill Cassidy, Louisiana (BS Biochemistry, MD); Pete Olson, Texas (BA computer science); Kurt Schrader, Oregon (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine); Martin Heinrich, New Mexico (BS engineering), Gregg Harper, Mississippi (BS chemistry), Joseph Cao, Mississippi (BA physics); Brett Guthrie, Virginia (BS mathematical economics); Erik Paulsen, Minnesota, mathematics BA; Parker Griffith, Alabama (BS chemistry, MD); Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming (BS animal science and biology).

Before you leap to the conclusion that scientists are taking over Congress, remember 2 things: 1) I have probably been missing plenty that were in congress already and 2) this is still a total of less than 10% with even a BS in science, math or engineering. I attempted to determine the status of all those newly elected this year.

Please comment, if you know of others in Congress with science and engineering backgrounds. If we get this list to be relative close to accurate then we can start tracking the total representation in congress and see if it is increasing, decreasing or randomly fluctuating over time.

Related: Scientists and Engineers in CongressChina’s Technology Savvy LeadershipScience and Engineering in PoliticsThe A to Z Guide to Political Interference in Science

One Response to “Engineers and Scientists in Congress”

  1. Wes Rolley
    December 10th, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

    Just a slight edit is required. Ahn Joseph Cao was just (Dec. 6) elected to Congress from the 2nd District in Louisiana, not Mississippi. While he does hold a BS in Physics from Baylor, it is probably more important that he then became a Jesuit Seminarian and later, with a law degree from Loyola (Jesuit traditionally = intellectual rigor) of New Orleans, became an immigration lawyer.

    It is a very mixed background. We should watch to see what he ends up accomplishing. His first accomplishment was to retire Dollar Bill Jefferson.

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