Rush Holt, central New Jersey’s “rocket scientist” representative, thinks Capitol Hill needs more scientists. He’s leaving Congress at the end of this year, but his eight terms in office have taught him that scientists need to help craft the nation’s laws now more than ever.
Holt joined Congress in 1999, and at one point was one of three physicists there. Fifteen years later he’ll leave the House with just one, Rep. Bill Foster of Illinois. A microbiologist, six engineers and about two dozen medical professionals also hold seats in the House or Senate.
“We need more scientists, more people with training as scientists, in Congress, on town councils, on county commissions until that golden age when everyone can think intelligently about science,” says Holt, a Ph.D. physicist and former assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He says it&rsquo