Election 2018

Our science policy initiative group has been working hard to ask candidates in Pennsylvania about their stances on topics that are deeply important to us. We will post the responses to these questions for all candidates that take the time to participate. If you are a candidate in the Greater Philadelphia Area and would like to take part in our questionnaire, please contact Dr. JoEllen McBride at 500womensciphilly@gmail.com.

Find your PA state reps at http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/. As of September 12 this link hasn't been updated to provide the remedial Congressional districts issued by the PA Supreme Court in February.

For your US House district, please find your NEW district on the interactive map at https://www.dos.pa.gov/VotingElections/CandidatesCommittees/RunningforOffice/Pages/2018-Remedial-Congressional-Districts.aspx#googlemap

A table of responses from candidates for each position can be found below. We also provide the individual candidate responses and the full text of the questionnaire along with sources.

Candidate Responses by Position



Lt. Governor






PA Senate-6

PA Senate-26

PA Senate-44

PA House-74

PA House-142

PA House-156

PA House-163

PA House-182

PA House-184

PA House-186

Individual Candidate Responses

2018 Science Policy Questionnaire Results


  1. Climate Change: We are running out of time to take comprehensive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and each day we fail to act increases the risk of handing our children a situation out of their control. The majority of Americans from both parties agree that climate change is a threat and support policies to reduce carbon pollution. Within Pennsylvania, nuclear power provides most of our carbon-free energy (supplying 42% of our electricity generation in 2017, compared to 4.5% from renewables), however, two of the state’s nuclear plants are currently scheduled to close. What do you see as the best strategy to prioritize and pass legislation to mitigate climate change? Would you introduce or support policies to enable emissions reductions? If yes, what role do you see for nuclear power in a fast transition away from fossil fuels, and for supporting communities that could be harmed by mitigation policies?
  2. Harassment: There are ongoing issues of discrimination and harassment in the STEM fields. Recent findings from the National Academies suggests that harassment of women in academia is second only to the rates experienced by women in the United States military. The National Academies report lists recommendations and policies that protect claimants and require institutions that receive federal funds to make public the results of climate surveys and harassment reports. What policies regarding academic harassment (or harassment in general) of underrepresented groups will you support if elected? Which recommendations put forth by the National Academies that pertain to federal or state actions (Recommendations 11-13 specifically) would you try to enact if elected?
  3. Immigration/Family Separations: Every year, thousands of international students earn Ph.Ds in the United States. Due to caps on visas, many return to their home countries after building a life in the U.S., uprooting themselves and taking their ideas and knowledge with them. For every 100 international students that earn a Ph.D. in the U.S., our nation gains 63 new patent applications. What policies or initiatives do you support to attract and retain international talent, especially in STEM fields?
  4. Reproductive Health: Access to affordable and safe reproductive health services saves lives and money. Women with access to healthcare are more likely to receive preventative care and help with family planning. Family planning provides opportunities for women with low incomes to increase their earnings as well as their level of education. The first quarter of 2018 saw an increase in state legislatures adopting measures that “expand access to abortion, contraception, other reproductive health services, and comprehensive sex education or to protect reproductive rights.” At the same time, 11 states adopted 22 new abortion restrictions. What actions or policies do you support that allow people to make their own choices in regards to their reproductive health and ensure access to reproductive health services?
  5. Science Funding: Science and technology have been responsible for half the growth of the U.S. economy since World War II. Despite the benefits and high returns of investing in scientific research, research and development spending as a percentage of the GDP has decreased in the U.S. since 1976. What role, if any, should government play in stimulating innovative science and technology so we continue to benefit from them? What steps will you take to support scientific research at the federal and/or state level?