There Are 535 Members Of Congress. How Many Of Them Really Understand Math and Science?

While the 113th Congress is often touted as being the most diverse Congress ever, some still worry that STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) do not have enough of a presence. How does the distribution of individuals in Congress with some background in a STEM field after high school compare to that of the United States (adults ages 25+) as a whole? Here are the numbers:


Infographics

Even though Congress has a higher proportion of STEM-educated individuals than the general public, it is worth noting the contrast in the House and Senate committees tasked with science issues. Many bills with substantive science content might be discussed in a committee where few individuals have a rigorous science background.

Infographics

The 10% of bills that make it past the committee process are considered by a full Congress in which 10% of individuals have some background in STEM, 42% have a degree in law, and 4% have no college education at all.

Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), a particle physicist and businessman, stresses the importance of "continually thinking of new ways to inject the rigor of science into the often messy give and take that is the essence of politics." In other words, even if an individual does not know science content, an understanding of the scientific process is vital to formulating good policy for science and understanding how to use science for policy.

Originally posted at www.STEMwire.org

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Hetali Lodaya

Chemistry and public policy major interested in science policy, STEM, social entrepreneurship, and development. Interdisciplinary efforts a plus. Also always up for bhangra, NPR, or a good fantasy novel. NCSSM '10, UNC '14.

MORE FROM

How to use the Snapchat Map while everyone else continues to be confused about it

Everything you need to know about the new feature.

Planet 10? Scientists may have discovered a hidden planet in our solar system

There could be a ninth — or even 10th — planet hiding out in our solar system.

Scientists created a robot that will iron your clothes for you

Shut up and take my money.

Moth eyes have inspired the touchscreen of the future

It's going to change the anti-reflection game.

Twitter was flagging tweets including the word "queer" as potentially "offensive content"

Why Twitter put the word "queer" in the same category as violent, sexual imagery.

How Mark Zuckerberg wants to transform society through Facebook Groups

Facebook has a new mission.

How to use the Snapchat Map while everyone else continues to be confused about it

Everything you need to know about the new feature.

Planet 10? Scientists may have discovered a hidden planet in our solar system

There could be a ninth — or even 10th — planet hiding out in our solar system.

Scientists created a robot that will iron your clothes for you

Shut up and take my money.

Moth eyes have inspired the touchscreen of the future

It's going to change the anti-reflection game.

Twitter was flagging tweets including the word "queer" as potentially "offensive content"

Why Twitter put the word "queer" in the same category as violent, sexual imagery.

How Mark Zuckerberg wants to transform society through Facebook Groups

Facebook has a new mission.