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Science Committee Head to Retire

Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), the chair of the US House of Representatives science committee, has announced her retirement, according to Politico.

Johnson was first elected in 1992 and has served in Congress for almost 30 years, it adds, noting she previously served in the Texas state Senate, where she was the first Black woman to represent Dallas since Reconstruction. The Texas Tribune adds that Johnson's announcement that she would not seek re-election is in line with what she told her constituents in 2019, but that she had not confirmed that plan after she won re-election in 2020.

Science says that Johnson, a trained psychiatric nurse, has been a strong supporter of the National Science Foundation and other federal science agencies and that the science committee has, under her leadership, been able to develop bipartisan legislation. It notes that Johnson has also pushed NSF and others to improve diversity and equity in science as well as address harassment.

Johnson said in her announcement that she will eventually endorse someone for her seat. "My goal is to look for a female that is qualified," she added, according to Politico.