By Anne Dachel
Imagine more and more scientists and doctors elected to state and national office. Imagine lots more vaccine industry shills like Dr. Richard Pan in California promoting bills like SB277 that removed parental choice when it comes to vaccinating children.
Now there’s a political action committee designed to do just that. It’s called 314 Action and it’s getting the word out that scientists plan to take over politics. 314 Action is especially eager to promote vaccines and denounce people like Robert Kennedy, Jr. for their questions about vaccine safety.
Never underestimate the power of corporate interests, under the guise of promoting science, to expand their power and control.
314 Action wants to get thousands more scientists into politics (4,000) to be exact).
"We are members of the STEM Community, grassroots supporters and political activists committed to bring innovation to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, aggressively advocate for real solutions to Climate Change and elect more STEM trained candidates to public office."
314 Action has connections at over 75 U.S. universities. “We are adding campus chapters every day.”
They're very upset at President Trump and Robert Kennedy for their questions about vaccines. The founder, Shaughnessy Naughton, is a scientist who twice ran for a congressional seat from PA (and lost) and who used to work at Wyeth.
April 22, 2017, TIME: Meet the Scientists Running for Office
By Jeffrey Kluger
For every epidemiologist or virologist who shows again and again that vaccines are safe and effective, there's a politician who insists that somewhere in a Big Pharma lab, someone is sneaking autism sauce into the shots. For every environmental researcher who explains that climate change is real, deadly and in large measure our fault, there is a politician — actually there are lots and lots of politicians — who call it a hoax. (Worse, a Chinese hoax.)
At last, it seems, the scientists have had enough, as a new TIME video makes clear. Faced with a President who originated the Chinese hoax canard, an Environmental Protection Agency Administrator who has said he "would not agree" that carbon dioxide is a principle cause of climate change, and the likes of anti-vaccine fabulist Robert Kennedy, Jr. possibly offering advice to the administration on vaccine safety, the empiricists are fighting back.
In 2016, pharmaceutical chemist Shaughnessy Naughton, a former Congressional candidate from Pennsylvania, founded 314 Action — a science-based nonprofit group that fights for evidence-based policies and recruits scientists to run for office. The group, which takes its just-right name from the first three digits of pi, claims to have already been approached by more than 4,000 potential candidates who hope to add letters like "D, Pa" or "R, Fla" to names already followed by MD, MS or PhD
Molly Sheehan (bioengineer running for Congress):
“Science used to be a bipartisan issue. Everyone used to love science. …
“We’re in such a crisis that we can’t be complacent anymore. …
“As scientists, we haven’t done a great job of speaking to things people are worried about right now. …
Shaugnessy Naughton (founder of 314 Action)
“The thought was, we’ll just put the results of our research out there and let the facts speak for themselves. And that’s not working.
“I founded 314 Action to bring the scientific community together, but also to encourage them to run. We need scientists to actually step up and be involved in electoral politics.”
“I don’t want to live in a world where I’m afraid if my baby drinks the bath water. And I don’t want to live in a world where I’m afraid of her playing in dirt because it has lead in it. …
“I want her to see by me running, that when our country really is in crisis, we don’t just sit down. That her mom stood up for her and that she should do that too. …
“I’m worried about our country …
Ending: “314 Action says more than 4,000 scientists are now interested in running for public office.”
314 Action founder Shaughnessy Naughton is a scientist who used to work at Wyeth.
She ran for Congress from Pennsylvania’s 8th District in 2014 and 2016 and lost both times.
Naughton/314 Action has gotten support from the media, and she makes it clear that no one should question vaccines.
April 21, 2017, CNN: Scientists won't win until they run
By Shaughnessy Naughton
Donald Trump has supplied science skeptics with a megaphone. Radio host and anti-vaccine propagandist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been approved to chair a commission on "vaccine safety and scientific integrity."
January 25, 2017, The Atlantic ran the story, Professor Smith Goes to Washington—In response to the new president’s stances on a range of issues, more scientists are preparing to run for political office.
For American science, the next four years look to be challenging. The newly inaugurated President Trump, and many of his Cabinet picks, have repeatedly cast doubt upon the reality of human-made climate change, questioned the repeatedly proven safety of vaccines.
US president Donald Trump did not study law or governance, yet he rose straight to the top of American politics. This gave some scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians an idea: they launched an initiative, STEM the Divide, to get more of their own into public office.
The initiative is run by a new political action committee called 314 action, named after the first three digits of pi. On its website, the PAC explains its goal is “electing more leaders to the US Senate, House, State Executive and Legislative offices who come from STEM backgrounds. We need new leaders who understand that climate change is real and are motivated to find a solution.”
The PAC’s founder, Shaughnessy Naughton—a chemist and cancer researcher-turned-business owner, who has twice run for Congress and lost—told the Washington Post, “Especially now, we need people with scientific backgrounds that are used to looking at the facts and forming an opinion based on the facts.” The impetus for organizing, she said, was Trump’s choice of cabinet members who deny widely accepted scientific facts like climate change, and the validity of vaccines, among other issues.
The project is partially motivated by worry over the election of Donald Trump, she said, noting that the president-elect and some of his Cabinet picks dispute the scientific consensus on climate change, vaccines and other issues.
See my past stories on how Jeffrey Kluger and TIME spin the truth about vaccines.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.