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Physicists in Congress Calculate Their Influence

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

WASHINGTON - According to the Congressional Research Service, there are only about 30 scientists among the 535 senators and representatives in the 110th Congress .... But physics is on a roll.

"Go back 15 years, and there weren't any physicists," said Vernon J. Ehlers, a Republican who taught the subject at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., until he was elected to Congress in 1993.

His was a lone voice until 1998, when Rush Holt, assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics laboratory, won election from New Jersey as a Democrat. And today there are three, adding Bill Foster, a physicist at Fermilab and another Democrat, who won a special election in March in Illinois. ... [A] Congress full of physicists might solve some worrisome problems, the three-member physics caucus argued one afternoon when they met for a joint interview in the Capitol.

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