US non-profit calls on STEM sector to run for public office: “We need people willing to stand up for the facts”

A US-non-profit is calling on experts in the science, tech, engineering and math sectors to sign up for training to run for public office in a bid to raise the level of political debate across the country.

The group, named 314 Action (314 being the first three digits of the number Pi), was set up in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency and thousands of experts have already signed up.

“It’s 3000 scientists and STEM professionals—engineers, mathematicians, academics,” 314 Action spokesperson Ted Bordelon told Motherboard

While it’s too early to say how many people will go on to run for office, Bordelon is confident this surge of early interest is a good sign.

The initiative comes with the rise of March For Science, which encourages scientists and the like to “walk out of the lab and into the streets” to raise awareness about the importance of diversity in these fields and the need to protect the STEM community and its voice. The next march is planned for April 22.

314 Action board president and chemist Shaughnessy Naughton says a key part of the movement is to increase the volume of facts and empirical evidence in important debates.

“The goal is not to politicise science, but to get scientists involved in politics,” Naughton told Motherboard.

“When the man who’s going to lead this country claims climate change is a hoax, we need people willing to stand up for the facts.”

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