This Scientist Wants to Bring Star Trek Values to Congress

Vulcanologist Jess Phoenix never expected to be involved in politics. Until recently her life revolved around science–traveling “the worlds” to analyze different volcanoes and leading an education nonprofit. But the environmental register of the Trump administration has motivated her to run for Congress.

” These people are basically gutting every environmental protection that existed ,” Phoenix says in Episode 284 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.” It’s a trend we have to stop now. We can’t let this persist .”


Jess Phoenix on climate change :

” My father was very much into’ Oh, climate change issues isn’t real’ a few years back. And I would say,’ Dad, I’m the scientist. I went to academy for this. There’s no conspiracy .’ But then I’m really encouraged, because on his Facebook page he shared something that I did, one of the media appearings that I had–I think maybe it was when I was on CNN International talking about why the work requires scientists in government, Earth scientists in particular–and somebody on his page said,’ Oh John, it’s just a plot. Follow the money .’ And my dad was like,’ Well, my daughter’s not getting paid off for this, so I think there’s something to it. I know she stands firm in her convictions’–or something to that consequence. So I think he’s starting to see that[ it’s real ].”

Jess Phoenix on fundraising :

” Some[ scientists] have gotten somewhat wealthy patenting their breakthroughs, but for most scientists–particularly Earth scientists–your biggest drawback will be that you don’t have a massive, built-in donor network. Because scientists haven’t been politically speaking. So if I were to call up–and I’ve done this–if I were to call up 10, or 20, or 50 of my scientific peers and say,’ Hey, donate to my political campaign ,’ they’re not are applied to doing that. Solicitors are used to donating to other lawyers leading for role, and the same goes for businesspeople, because they make up 80 -plus percent of Congress right now. There’s one physicist in Congress–Bill Foster in Illinois–and that’s it. So you can see we have a hard row to hoe .”

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