As a response to the increasing anti-science voices that are rising among the US government, a group of scientists are uniting to push STEM candidates into official positions so they can propose evidence-based policy.
“We are committed to electing more STEM candidates to office, advocating for evidence-based policy solutions to issues like climate change, and fighting the Trump administration’s attacks on science,” reads their mission statement on their official site.
The popular podcast Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy recently interviewed Volcanologist Jess Phoenix, one of a growing number of scientists who are running for public office encouraged by 314 Action.
Until recently, Phoenix traveled the world studying volcanoes and running an educational non-profit. She never expected to be involved in politics but the Trump administration’s environmental policies have motivated her to run for Congress.
“These guys are basically gutting every environmental protection that existed,” she said in her interview during the podcast.
“It’s a trend we have to stop now. We can’t let this continue.
“The science candidates are going to be in favour of things that are scientifically proven to work.”
Phoenix points out, “That’s the one thing that unites all of us.”
Her campaign is endorsed by famous Star Trek actors Tim Russ, Robert Picardo and John Billingsley, all of whom have appeared in promotional clips for her campaign.
“John saw the correlation between my positions about issues and the Star Trek universe, and how the ideals of Gene Roddenberry’s future matched up with what I wanted to fight for,” says Phoenix, who’s running for California’s 25th congressional district.
Being a volcanologist, most people usually crack a Star Trek joke at her expense, making the inevitable relation with Vulcans. She has learned to accept it as a fact of her life, and light-heartedly responds with the Vulcan salute and the saying “live long and prosper.”
“Its convenient because it’s something I actually believe in,” she says.
“I do want people to live long and prosper, so I’d say it’s a pretty universally OK message.”