D a few have signifi

D. a few have significant ties to the research community This week ScienceInsider is profiling three new members of the House with research connections and one friend of science who is leaving Tuesday: Representative Jodey Arrington (R–TX) who directed commercial activity at a major university expanding its research capacity Wednesday: Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D–IL) who ran a university startup begun by an academic with an entrepreneurial bent Thursday: Representative Ro Khanna (D–CA) who defeated fellow Democratic Representative Mike Honda in the race to represent a district in the heart of Silicon Valley Today: Honda discusses what he learned in his 16 years in Congress Honda listening to scientists promoting equity Representative Mike Honda has sat through more than a thousand hearings in his 16 years as a member of Congress representing a northern California district in the heart of Silicon Valley At each one says the 75-year-old Democrat he listened impatiently as his colleagues put pet projects and petty grievances ahead of the chance to hear experts summoned to share their knowledge on a pressing issue It’s not a problem the former high school science teacher will have to endure any longer: Next month after having failed to win a ninth term Honda will be leaving Congress And in a recent exit interview Honda reflected on things he had learned as well as things he’d like to see changed One wish: new rules to curb grandstanding by legislators at hearings and to elevate the importance of witnesses including scientists “Scientists spend time and money to come here [Washington DC]” he says “And I think they should be able to demonstrate their expertise and explain things that have big implications for policy” At any given congressional hearing each committee member typically is given 5 minutes to question the witnesses and listen to their answers It’s not uncommon for a legislator to talk for four of those minutes leaving the witness with time for little more than a cursory response That approach allows legislators to maximize what Honda calls “nagging” and minimize the witness’s ability to rebut their arguments Honda would also like Congress to limit the time allocated for opening remarks by legislators so that expert witnesses would have more time to speak His modest proposal is consistent with how Honda has done his job in Congress since arriving in 2001: He doesn’t seek the limelight he relishes having substantive discussions on policy issues and he respects what researchers have to say about the scientific evidence relating to those subjects He also sat on spending panels that control the budgets of several important research agencies a role that helped earned him a 2013 congressional leadership award from a coalition of scientific organizations Last spring Honda became the top Democrat on one of those panels But that status wasn’t enough to stave off an aggressive challenge from Khanna who last month beat Honda by nearly a 60-to-40 margin after narrowing losing to him in 2014 (California’s first across-the-line primary system allows two members of the same party to battle in the general election) Change happens fast in Washington So this month when ScienceInsider asked Honda to discuss his record and future plans the interview took place in a windowless storage closet just across the hall from what had been Honda’s office The suite with its commanding view of the Capitol had already been vacated to make room for another member Q: Did last month’s election send a message to Democrats A I think the message is to listen to the voters’ effect We heard some of what they are saying but we weren’t in touch with their feelings So yeah we probably missed the boat on that one Q: How do you answer those who say the Obama administration declared war on coal A: We’re still extracting coal But we’re just not going down into mines And most of what we are extracting from the new fields in [the upper northwestern states] is being exported and it requires less labor The rhetoric about EPA [the Environmental Protection Agency] forcing thousands of people out of work is a nonsense argument And we probably could have refuted it if we had paid more attention Q Has Silicon Valley changed its view of Washington DC, But that doesn’t mean the 115th Congress that convenes on 3 January 2017 is identical to its predecessor. Styled by Anisha Jain and Style Cell team, a regular, While the company isn’t ready to disclose the name of the phone, This would be for the first time Oppo is coming up with a phone with an 18:9 aspect ratio display.

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