The Boone County Candidate Forum on Science and Technology Policy on Wednesday night gave voters a chance to hear how their candidates would handle scientific legislation. The forum featured five candidates running for the Missouri House of Representatives as panelists.
Maren Bell Jones was one of the candidate panelists. Jones received a doctorate in veterinary medicine and says she always wondered why more scientists weren’t involved in politics.
“Science matters, science is real...and we need more science based people in the legislatures at all levels,” Jones said.
Three scientists from the University of Missouri were also at the forum and gave presentations about research. The presentations were meant to give voters an entry point to broader scientific debate.
Troy Rowan was one of the scientists presenting his research about genetically modifying Missouri cattle to digest food better. Rowan says being involved in scientific legislation is important to him.
“The people that are making the policy really lean a lot more on scientists for expertise in these areas than I thought..Hopefully we can find ways to make a platform for scientists to talk to these people that are making decisions on the state and federal level,” Rowan said.
Jones says as a politician with a scientific background, she understands that it’s sometimes hard for complex research to be explained, but this forum was a good first step in familiarizing the public with important issues as they head to the polls.
The midterm election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6.