Friday Jul 14, 2017
This month I go on full time leave from my position as National Laboratory Physicist, a job I’ve held since 1996. Only by separating myself from the Federal site and funding can I take the next step in my journey to explore how much scientists have to offer when they directly enter policy and politics.
The best journeys bring fellow travelers close. Here on Long Island, New York, Stony Brook University is launching a program called STRIDE, Science Training & Research to Inform DEcisions, to “provide STEM graduate students with unique interdisciplinary skills to assist, create, and eventually lead in the translation of complex data-enabled research into informed decisions and sound policies.” I'm on their Brown Bag Lunch schedule for October, to discuss: “Should Science Be Politicized?” A topic dear to my heart from school days. This week, I joined STRIDE in the studio to shoot a clip for their introductory video. Hope you enjoy this picture from the making-of!
It's now my job to discuss Science In Politics all day, and I love sharing news. One supporter of a Scientist for Congress told me his donation was the first he'd made since Obama in 2008. Another smilingly said he'd have to check the Democratic candidate’s platform first, being a fiscal conservative and a registered Republican! Most people already trust scientists. Every day I meet another person excited at the prospect of having a Scientist represent New York's 1st.
Of course, some approach with the Doubt-Raising Questions. You know, those most polite and politically correct ways of saying “we don't think we want what you are.” Don't I think it's risky, don't I think someone else would have more clout? Don't I think the scientist should maybe do some other race, but not this one?
The Doubt-Raising Questions and I nod and smile and say, “Thanks, we've already met.” No one in a career like mine misses out on the Doubt-Raising Questions, and by the time you get to my pay grade, you're on a first name basis and chat with them over coffee in Hiring Committees, Human Resources training classes, and Diversity & Inclusion seminars.
Ideals by their very nature can never be too high. Carrying out work that was impossible five years ago, that's what we do in my profession every day. I'm exploring Scientists in Congress because I can see what's possible – voters like you have the power to rescue their Congress from this standoff, this confusion, this denial-of-facts attack.
August 22, 2017
Scientists make hard things easy - challenges become solutions that work. Like my eclipse viewer.
I've used every kind of fancy microscope. Visited major telescopes in Hawai'i and Puerto Rico. But nothing matches the joy of bringing a shoebox eclipse viewer to a diner parking lot to show every passer-by our Sun and Moon.
As your Rep, I will do more than make sure we have funding for fancy telescopes. I'll make a complicated landscape simpler so that Congress gets to consensus on tough problems. And I'll help my constituents see what we have here in District 1.
September 28, 2017
On September 28th, Science Magazine published this headline:
"What's the evidence? Congress struggles to understand new report on evidence-based policy."
Voters know that science is a powerful force. Yet, we're in the fight of our lives against those who treat it as a farce.
The good news? Our grassroots campaign wins new supporters every day, and each one brings science a step closer to Washington. People all over the country want to be a force for good, and are watching this race.
Time after time, I've seen how science and imagination connect us – and dare us to dream of what's possible. I believe if we harness that spirit, together we can be that force for good in the next great chapter of New York's first congressional district and our nation.
September 5, 2017
Congress needs to protect the DREAMers.
Who are the they? They are 787,000 undocumented Americans, brought to this country as children, who receive protection from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
DREAMers contribute to American society and our economy. They love this country. They pledge allegiance to our flag and several hundred serve this great nation in our Armed Forces. In fact, they are Americans in many ways, except on paper.
DACA emancipated these young, hardworking people. I will never back down from protecting them, their families, nor the bright future we will all share when their status in this country is protected. To revoke DACA protections is immoral, cruel, and wholly un-American.
Also, I support foreign policy reforms in areas where the U.S has supported oppressive governments that force people to flee their homelands. We must introduce dignity and humanity into any and all international trade agreement that do not raise standards of living around the globe–or worse, have created entire populations of economic refugees.