A Former Academic Pushes for More Science in the Senate

A Former Academic Pushes for More Science in the Senate 1

Mel Evans, AP Images

Rush Holt, a U.S. representative from New Jersey who is running for Senate, greets a driver in Trenton.

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Mel Evans, AP Images

Rush Holt, a U.S. representative from New Jersey who is running for Senate, greets a driver in Trenton.

One night last week in a cozy auditorium at Mercer County Community College, the geeks were running behind.

Soon enough the hall would fill with a couple hundred supporters of U.S. Rep. Rush D. Holt, 64, the physicist-turned-politician who has represented New Jersey's 12th district, centered on Princeton, for the past 15 years. They would all be there, as Mr. Holt's aides put it, to "geek out" over the role of good evidence in policy making.

Mr. Holt is bidding for the