It’s truly depressing how many of these we need to cover, but Randy Hultgren is another US Representative, this time for Illinois’s 14th congressional district (since 2011; prior to that he sat in the Illinois General Assembly). According to some, Hultgren has gained a reputation as an ardent supporter of research and science education, and NBC Chicago claimed that he has “carved a reputation as a pro-science, pro-STEM education supporter.” He has even won some awards, and praise from various people in powerful administrative positions at major universities; Fermilab Director Pier Oddone, University of Illinois President Robert Easter and University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer even said that “Congressman Hultgren provides a strong voice for science in Congress,” which, I suppose, comes close to clinching a place in our Encyclopedia for all three of them.
Hultgren is a climate change denialist and, apparently, an intelligent design creationist who wants to allow school districts to teach this kind of pseudoscience. A pretty illustrative example of Hultgren’s scientific credentials is his claim that, unlike “dangerous” sex ed, abstinence-only programs have “incredible success records”. He has worked to get funds assigned accordingly. The evidence, which consistently shows the opposite, be damned.
Diagnosis: Anti-science extremist.