Electoral win is not only route to political impact
Your feature “Power drill”
(25 October) reported on US scientists who have sought to get themselves and other like-minded scholars into elected office.
I am a biochemist and was nominated three times to be the Democratic candidate for the US House of Representatives for my district. Each time there was a competitive primary election, and each time I won handily. My district is overwhelmingly Republican, but I had the objec-
I wanted to bring attention to certain issues, even though I knew I was unlikely to win the general election
tive of bringing attention to certain issues, even though I knew that I was unlikely to win the general election. My campaign included volunteers who were participating in political campaigns for the first time and who have gone on to their own productive careers in politics. I am now an elected city councillor.
Winning an election is not the only possible potential achievement in becoming a candidate for office, and scientists/academics who make the effort should be celebrated and encouraged. mf2018