The Science Coalition honored Congressman Randy Hultgren with its Champion of Science Award in recognition of his strong commitment to funding the basic research that keeps the United States and the state of Illinois at the forefront of scientific discovery and technological innovation.
“In his short time in Congress, and in a tight budget climate, Congressman Hultgren stood out quickly as a strong and consistent voice for maintaining federal investments in science and innovation. We are pleased to present him with our Champion of Science Award,” said Science Coalition President Abby Benson of the University of Colorado.
Upon election to Congress, Hultgren sought membership on the Science, Space and Technology Committee where he has served actively on three subcommittees. He has introduced a number of bills during his first term, including the Energy Critical Elements Advancement Act of 2011, which urged Congressional action to fix problems in the energy-critical elements supply chain, which is essential to the large-scale deployment of new energy technologies. Hultgren also created the Science Advisory Council, which consists of more than 300 science stakeholders, including representatives from research universities and national labs across Illinois.
“Congressman Hultgren provides a strong voice for science in Congress that benefits the citizens of Illinois as well as the United States. Illinois is home to some of the premier research universities in the nation as well as two Department of Energy national labs, Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which in collaboration with industry, provide a unique ecosystem for innovation and economic growth,” said Robert J. Zimmer, President of the University of Chicago. “Congressman Hultgren understands these issues and their profound importance.”
“From his time in the Illinois State House through his first two years in Washington, Congressman Hultgren has been a steady and consistent champion for scientific research that will allow our state’s top research universities to address the world’s grand challenges,” said Dr. Robert Easter, President of the University of Illinois, who presented the award to Rep. Hultgren at Fermilab this morning. “In his first term, Rep. Hultgren stood up for research, and stood apart from his peers, promoting scientific discovery that will create the jobs of the future so vital to Illinois’ economic recovery.”
Joining Dr. Easter in presenting the award to Congressman Hultgren was Fermilab Director Pier Oddone. The group, including representatives from the University of Chicago, then toured several current and future projects on the Fermilab site. The University of Chicago is a partner in the Fermi Research Alliance LLC, which operates Fermilab for the U.S. Department of Energy. The University of Illinois and the University of Chicago are members of The Science Coalition.
The Science Coalition’s Champion of Science Award recognizes members of Congress whose actions and votes consistently reflect their belief that basic scientific research, conducted at universities and national labs across the country, is essential to the nation’s ability to address pressing issues in health, security, energy and the environment, and additionally, that a strong federally supported basic research enterprise drives innovation that fuels the U.S. economy. Congressman Hultgren joins a distinguished group of more than 60 current and former members of Congress who have received this award since 1999.