‘Science, Science, Science, Science ’

House Speaker Pelosi Says 'Science" is Critical to Addressing Nation's Challenges

By Tawanda W. Johnson

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and APS member Carlos MerilesPhoto by Brian Mosley/APS Staff

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and APS member Carlos Meriles, assistant professor of physics at The City College of CUNY, met during the Coalition for National Science Funding Exhibit and Reception, held March 24 in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill. Meriles displayed research in nuclear magnetic resonance – a high-resolution technique that could improve the understanding of how cancer cells are structured, thus advancing the treatment of the disease.

Science is crucial to developing solutions to the nation’s most pressing challenges, including enhancing energy security, revamping health care and improving education, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-8th) during remarks at the 15th annual Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Exhibition and Reception held March 24.

“If you want to know the agenda for this Congress, think of four words: science, science, science, science,” she said to thunderous applause in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill.

CNSF is an alliance of more than 120 organizations that supports the goal of increasing the national investment in the National Science Foundation’s research and education programs in response to unprecedented scientific, technological and economic opportunities facing the United States. The exhibit and reception involved scientists discussing research that included advances in nuclear magnetic resonance – a technique that could improve the understanding of how cancer cells are structured, thus advancing the treatment of the disease.

Before Pelosi made her remarks, Rep. Bart Gordon, chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, praised the Speaker for outstanding leadership on science and innovation.

“She does not just talk the talk; she walks the walk,” he said to a packed crowd that included Reps. Rush Holt (NJ-12th), Vernon Ehlers (MI-3rd), Bill Foster (IL-14th), Bob Filner (CA-51st) and members of the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation. They all thanked the Speaker for her longstanding support of science, including investments in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the FY09 Omnibus Bill.

Pelosi said she and her congressional colleagues have fought hard for scientific investments because they are crucial to developing clean, affordable energy, improving health care and education, and developing innovations that translate into high-paying jobs and economic prosperity for the nation.

The Rising Above the Gathering Storm report was the wake-up call to the nation,” she said, while thanking the scientific community for advocating for increased investment in scientific research and improvements in math and science education. Before the reception, she stressed those points during a meeting with various university presidents and association leaders.

Pelosi’s 2005 Democratic Innovation Agenda followed recommendations of the highly acclaimed Gathering Storm report, which calls for an educated and skilled U.S. workforce and revitalized research at universities and national laboratories.

In 2007, the Speaker was one of the recipients of the George E. Brown Jr. Science, Engineering and Technology Leadership Award for demonstrating leadership in ensuring that the United States meets global competitiveness challenges of the 21st century.

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