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The US just sent 10 new scientists to Congress, including an ocean expert, a nurse, and a biochemist. Here's the full list.

Congress just picked up several new science and health experts.
Congress just picked up several new science and health experts. Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

The faces of Capitol Hill are changing.

Despite a government shutdown, the 116th Congress is now underway in Washington. A record number of women are in the ranks - 127, according to Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics. They include the first Muslim women, the first Somali-American, and the first Native American women.

There are more scientists too.

Last November, 10 new science-credentialed candidates were elected: one senator and nine members of the House.

The scientifically-inclined members of the 115th Congress included one physicist, one microbiologist, and one chemist, as well as eight engineers and one mathematician. The medical professions were slightly better represented, with three nurses and 15 doctors, as well as at least three veterinarians.

These new lawmakers will bolster those science ranks. The Democratic candidates who won all ran successful campaigns with the support of a nonprofit political action committee called 314 Action, which started in 2016 and is dedicated to recruiting, training, and funding scientists and healthcare workers who want to run for political office. (A Republican engineer turned businessman won a race in Oklahoma, and a Republican doctor won a race in Pennsylvania, though neither received support from the PAC.)

"Scientists are essentially problem-solvers," Shaughnessy Naughton, the president of 314 Action, told Business Insider before the election results came in.

Since Congress often wrestles with complex issues like climate change, cybersecurity, and how to provide fairer, cheaper healthcare, Naughton said she thought the US should put more scientists into the decision-making body.

"Who better to be tackling these issues than scientists?" she said.

Here's what to know about the new scientists on the Hill.

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