I’m a scientist who ran for Congress. Right away, I’ve outed myself as an oddball. Considering the founders of the United States regularly had professions other than “politician,” I should not be as much of an outlier as I am. There were no lucrative lobbyist positions available after holding elected office 242 years ago, so it was important for public servants to have a useful skill set aside from oration, deliberation, and argumentation.

During the years since 1776, our country’s development has been profoundly influenced by scientists. The work of both native-born (e.g., Benjamin Franklin)…