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Science and the Science Committee

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) could be the next chair of the US House of Representatives committee on science, space, and technology, NPR reports. If so, it adds, that she would be both the first African-American chair of the committee and the first with a science background.

Johnson previously served as its ranking member, but as the current chair Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) did not run for re-election and as the midterms gave Democrats control of the House, the committee is to get a new chair. Johnson tells NPR that her first agenda item — after securing that post — would be to foster STEM education. Johnson also says that she hopes that the committee will have increased and better oversight of federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency.

"And so I'm hoping that we'll have members who believe in science and believe in progress, believe in America, and believe in innovation, and know that we have to meet our challenges," she tells NPR.