April 15, 1999
Contact: Kevin Marvel, American Astronomical Society|
Nadine Lymn, Ecological Society of America
Over 200 science and business leaders will participate in Congressional Visits Day on 21 and 22 April, 1999. This event is remarkable for bringing together a wide range of scientific disciplines and a host of technical industries to convey to Members of Congress the core message that federal support for research and development is essential and that R&D partnerships between government, industry, and universities play a critical role. This year, the event will also honor three Members of Congress for their legacy of commitment to science and technology.
Congressional Visits Day is organized by the Science-Engineering-Technology (SET) Work Group, a DC-based coalition of 35 professional scientific societies, and the Coalition for Technology Partnerships, a group of over 100 companies, trade associations and technical societies. The full day of congressional visits underscores the vital connections between federally funded science and technology, and the partnerships between government, universities, and industries.
"We're focused on the future vitality of the U.S. science, mathematics, and engineering enterprise," explains David Applegate, Director of Government Affairs at the American Geological Institute and co-chair of the SET Work Group.
"Congressional Visits Day involves scientists, engineers, and business leaders--who are also constituents--articulating the essential role federally funded research and development plays in our nation's quality of life and economy," adds Kathleen Kingscott, Public Policy Director for Science and Technology at IBM Corporation and chair of the Coalition for Technology Partnerships.
Deborah Rudolph, co-chair of SETWG, and Manager at IEEE-USA, notes that part of the strength of the federal R&D system is its diversity across many agencies with a wide variety of missions that rely fundamentally on science and technology.
"This diversity reflects the interdependence of scientific disciplines and the growing interdisciplinary nature of the research required to solve current and future scientific and technological challenges," says Rudolph.
More than 50 percent of all industrial innovation and growth in the United States since World War II can be attributed to advances pioneered through scientific research, with publicly funded science the vital foundation for society's scientific and technological progress. Achievements from federally funded science and technology include global environmental monitoring, lasers, liquid crystal displays, and the Internet.
As a new component to the annual event, SETWG and CTP will present three lifetime leadership awards to Representative George Brown (D-CA), and Senators Pete Domenici (R-NM), and Joseph Lieberman, (D-CT) on the evening of April 21st. All three legislators have demonstrated a career-long commitment to science and technology at the federal level.
Throughout his long tenure in the House, Rep. Brown, Ranking Minority Member of the Science Committee, has been a strong and vocal advocate of the nation's science enterprise. Brown has always believed that "science is an investment in our future" and acted accordingly. Responsible for creating the now defunct Office of Technology Assessment, Brown displayed forward thinking, attempting to provide the federal government with a mechanism for deciding which projects were feasible at any given time. Senator Domenici, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, has promoted alliances of business, government and education that secure existing jobs and develop new employment opportunities. Domenici has long been a strong proponent of science and science research from his support for national laboratories, to his advocacy for human genome research. Senator Lieberman, Senate Governmental Affairs Ranking Minority Member, has also taken a strong leadership role in support of science and technology, in both civilian and military arenas. Along with Domenici and other Senators, he has been a lead sponsor of Senate Bill 296, the Federal Research Investment Act, and has led efforts on previous versions of this bill. Lieberman also actively supported the R&D tax credit and advocates making the credit permanent.
SETWG is an information network comprising professional, scientific, and engineering societies, higher education associations, institutions of higher learning, and trade associations. The Work Group is concerned about the future vitality of the U.S. science, mathematics, and engineering enterprise. CTP is a group of businesses, trade associations, and technical societies that have joined forces to advocate science and technology partnerships.
Posted: April 15, 1999
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