My piece in the latest issue of Seed–not yet online, but will be soon I hope–is about the scientist activism group that just announced its existence, Scientists and Engineers for America. As I argue in Seed, this could be the organization that finally brings the national scientific community out of its political torpor by targeting races and trying to actually unseat politicians who egregiously misuse and abuse science.
So far, though, the particular races that Scientists and Engineers for America will invest in don’t seem to have been picked:
The group is looking at the Senate race in Virginia between George Allen, the incumbent Republican, and James Webb, a Democrat; a stem cell ballot issue in Missouri; the question of intelligent design in Ohio; and Congressional races in Washington State, Mr. Brown said.
Stay tuned on this front. In any event, I hope that Scientists and Engineers for America will support Republicans with good records on science, as well as opposing those with bad records. Indeed, the group should support pro-science candidates generally, whether it’s Rush Holt or pro-stem cell candidate Paul Aronsohn, both in New Jersey. I am also hoping that this group can try to provide us with some actual ratings for members of Congress–precisely the kinds of ratings that other groups, like the League of Conservation Voters, have produced for ages to guide voters.
Finally–finally–the scientific community may be awakening to political reality….but we’ll have to wait to see this group in action. The November election is awfully close now…