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Saluting Public Service

ACS honors congressmen for their work in shaping U.S. science and engineering policy

by Linda Wang
April 15, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 16

Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
ACS President-Elect Nancy B. Jackson (from left) stands with Baird, Francisco, and Culberson.
Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
ACS President-Elect Nancy B. Jackson (from left) stands with Baird, Francisco, and Culberson.

Reps. Brian N. Baird (D-Wash.) and John A. Culberson (R-Texas) received the prestigious American Chemical Society Public Service Award during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on April 13. The award, established in 1997, honors leaders for outstanding contributions to public service or to the development of public policy that benefits chemistry and the sciences.

"It is through partnerships among the chemistry enterprise, the broader science community, and key policymakers such as Reps. Baird and Culberson that we will maintain our global leadership and secure a cleaner, safer, sustainable future for all," said ACS President Joseph S. Francisco during opening remarks.

Baird, who chairs the House Science & Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Energy & Environment, played a key role in crafting sections of the America Competes Act, which supports science and technology in order to enhance U.S. global competitiveness. He has also championed the National Science Foundation in its efforts to bolster U.S. competitiveness and to develop solutions to science education challenges.

Culberson, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, is an advocate for U.S. investment in research and a vocal supporter of funding for science programs at NSF and the National Institutes of Health. He is also working on legislation to strengthen the economy by cutting taxes and creating jobs. "I am truly honored and deeply touched by this recognition," Culberson said. "There is no more powerful investment that we can make in the long-term strategic security of the nation than to invest in the work that you are doing as scientists."

The ceremony was preceded by an undergraduate research poster session sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research. The annual event gave public officials an opportunity to interact with tomorrow's scientists. "I try to get here almost every year and see this outstanding work," Baird said. "We have to encourage our young people to conduct their research in a way that holds up the highest standards of integrity."



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