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ACS Honors Public Service

ACS News: Society recognizes public servants who have supported science and technology innovation

by Linda Wang
April 26, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 17

Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
ACS honors (from left) Smith, Udall, and Holdren with plaques.
From left: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), and John Holdren.
Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
ACS honors (from left) Smith, Udall, and Holdren with plaques.

In honor of public servants who have supported science and technology innovation and education, the American Chemical Society bestowed its 2013 Public Service Award on John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP); Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-Texas); and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) on April 24.

The ceremony took place on Capitol Hill in conjunction with an undergraduate poster session organized by the Council on Undergraduate Research.

“Their work has consistently demonstrated that science plays a critical role in improving both people’s lives and the public welfare,” said ACS President Marinda Li Wu in her presentation of the awards. “Supporting STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] education is essential to keeping our nation competitive.”

In addition to serving as director of OSTP, Holdren is also the President’s science adviser and cochair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology. He credits his achievements to an extraordinary amount of teamwork by his colleagues in OSTP and to President Barack Obama, whom he says understands the importance of investing in science and technology.

Smith chairs the House of Representatives Science, Space & Technology Committee. In the 112th Congress, he cosponsored the America Invents Act, which is the most significant reform to the U.S. patent system since 1952. He also introduced the STEM Jobs Act and the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act, which enacts provisions of international patent agreements.

Udall has championed environmental and national security through energy technology innovation. For example, he has pushed to expand renewable energy use by the U.S. armed forces. In addition, he has sponsored bills including the Critical Minerals & Materials Promotion Act, the Renewable Energy Market Access Program Act, and the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act.

“What has made America the great country that it is, is our spirit of innovation, our investment in the future—investment in young people,” Udall said at the ceremony. “Don’t be shy as scientists and researchers in telling us what you think we ought to do when it comes to investments,” he added. “We need your voices to move the country forward.”



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