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As President of 314 Action, Shaughnessy Naughton is frequently called upon by media outlets and other interest groups to speak about the urgent need to elect more scientists at every level of government. Her passionate commitment to increasing the number of professionals with scientific training in Congress is deeply personal.
As an entrepreneur with a degree in chemistry and a background in drug research, Shaughnessy grew increasingly concerned for the future of science in the United States and the lack of fact-based problem-solving solutions being initiated in Congress.
In 2014, after more than ten years in business, Shaughnessy stepped into the political arena, running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 8th District. It was a leap of faith, strengthened by a commitment to taking her scientific training and experience to Washington, D.C.
With no prior political experience, other than phoning legislators and door-knocking for campaigns, Shaughnessy faced an uphill battle. Learning the fundamentals of running a campaign through personal contact and retail politics was a lesson that stayed with her, and which she now brings to the day-to-day work of 314 Action.
Although unsuccessful with her campaign, Shaughnessy was undaunted by the result. During her campaign, she received significant support from the scientific community. It was clear that like-minded STEM professionals shared her vision of bringing more trained problem-solvers into government.
Inspired by her experience in running for office and what she had learned, Shaughnessy formed 314 Action in June 2016 to encourage and unite the scientific community around the political process and advance a pro-science agenda.
Under her leadership, scores of STEM professionals have been elected to public office since 314 Action‘s founding. Today, 314 Action is respected as one of the nation’s leading progressive groups, and Shaughnessy is in demand as a speaker and an advocate-leader for the pro-science movement.