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Congress forms a chemistry club

New congressional caucus focuses on benefits of the central science

by Jessica Morrison
April 29, 2016

Credit: Peter Cutts
Reps.Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) (left) and John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) (right), cochairs of the newly formed Congressional Chemistry Caucus, met with Thomas M. Connelly Jr. (middle), CEO of the American Chemical Society, and other supporters during the caucus’ launch on April 27.

Capitol Hill now has its own chemistry club—the Congressional Chemistry Caucus.

Members of the Congressional Chemistry Caucus

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.)
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)
Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.)
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.)
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.)
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.)
Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.)
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.)
Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.)
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.)
Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.)
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.)
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.)

Kicked off on April 27, the new organization joins the ranks of more than 400 other Capitol Hill caucuses—groups created by members of Congress who support common legislative goals.

The chemistry caucus, chaired by Reps. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) and Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), is intended “to educate members of Congress and the public about the benefits of chemistry in today’s society and the importance of sound science in public policy,” according to a statement from Moolenaar.

Moolenaar, who once worked as a chemist for Dow Chemical, says, “All of us are excited by the opportunity to make chemistry accessible, to inspire the next generation of people going into STEM education.”

The new group, initially consisting of 14 legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, will work to grow its membership this year before introducing legislation, says Anthony Pitagno, director of advocacy for the American Chemical Society (ACS). The society worked with two industry groups—the American Chemistry Council and National Association of Chemical Distributors—and with Moolenaar and Lipinski to establish the caucus.

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Mark Ritchie (April 30, 2016 8:28 AM)
This is such great news. We are planning to host the 2023 World's Fair in Minnesota with a focus on health and medicine and this kind of national attention to science and technology can help us broadcast America's commitment to creating the future.
Charlie Daschbach (May 4, 2016 2:18 PM)
H-h-mmm...We could ask Congressional members to actually pick an element that most resembles their political leanings!! Alkali metals !! Rare Earths !! Halogens !! A Radioactive sub caucus!! Transitional Metals (2016 only)...Noble (Inert?) Gases ?? This could even form cross aisle ionic or covalent bonding via catalysts applying relationships of Pressure, Volume and Temperature !!!
Stacy Leroy Daniels (May 5, 2016 1:29 PM)
The Congressional Chemistry Caucus is a great idea! With so many current issues, esp. environmental issues involving, chemistry, mathematics, and other sciences, it's a noteworthy undertaking.

P.S. Just don't misuse the term "technology" by limiting it just to things computer-related. There are all the "Sciences", and there are many "Techologies", including all the fields of engineering making practical applications of scientific ideas.

P.P.S. I remember attempting to explain the chemical/physical differences between "coagulation" and "flocculation" of fine particles suspended in wastewaters to a member of Congress way back in the 1960's. I finally described both as making a few "big" chunks out of many "small" particles.

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