June 3, 2009

APS Applauds 'Legislator of the Year' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Task Force on American Innovation Bestows Pelosi with Accolade for Outstanding Leadership, Commitment and Vision in the Increase of Federal Funding of Basic Research in the Physical Sciences

WASHINGTON, D.C. – APS is proud to announce that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been awarded the “Legislator of the Year” Award by the Task Force on American Innovation, a coalition of businesses, trade associations, scientific societies and higher education organizations that advocate for greater investments for basic research in the physical sciences and engineering.  APS is a founding member of the Innovation Task Force.

"Nancy Pelosi was a champion of science research and education long before it was politically fashionable, and she left her indelible mark on the budgets Congress passed this year that contained unprecedented increases for science," said Michael Lubell, Director of APS Public Affairs.

Craig Barrett, retired chairman of Intel Corp., presented the Speaker with the award June 2 during a reception at The Capitol Visitor Center.  Attendees included U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-14th);  U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon (TN-6th), chairman of the House Science &Technology Committee; and Norman Augustine, retired CEO and chairman of Lockheed Martin Corp.  Barrett credited the Speaker with “artfully using her power, persuasion and pushiness” to achieve funding increases in the physical sciences and engineering.  Specifically, he said Pelosi’s Innovation Agenda and support of the America COMPETES Bill and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, among other initiatives, led to funding increases for science.

A staunch supporter of science, the Speaker is known for stating that “science, science, science, science” is the solution to challenges facing the nation, said Barrett who added that “Pelosi, Pelosi, Pelosi, Pelosi” is the key to funding science.

"It is a great honor to receive this award in the presence of two champions of innovation and science funding in the Congress – Chairman Bart Gordon of the House Science Committee and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of the Energy and Commerce Committee.  We deeply appreciate the Task Force's support for substantial new investments in science, which are critical to spurring innovation and jobs," said Pelosi.

The Speaker said she was thrilled that President Obama stated that science has been restored to its rightful place.

"For the last eight years, we were told science or faith, take your pick,” she said. "Now we’re saying science is the answer to our prayers."

During the event, the Task Force also honored Barrett with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his unyielding commitment to science funding and education.

"Craig is in a class all by himself; he has a record that is unsurpassed," said Eshoo, whose congressional district covers Intel Corp.

"I will always treasure this award," said Barrett, who recently retired from Intel after 35 years.

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The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, D.C.