Last Thursday, the ceremony for the first annual Golden Goose Awards was held. The awards, originally conceived by Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN), were created to highlight seemingly obscure research efforts supported by federal funds that have resulted in economic and societal benefits.
Dr. Osamu Shimomura, Dr. Martin Chalfie and Dr. Roget Tsien were honored for their discovery of green fluorescent protein while seeking to identify why jellyfish grow green. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) has led to advances in genetics, cell biology, and a better understanding of cancer and brain diseases such as Alzheimer's. Dr. Eugene White, Dr. Rodney White, Dr. Della Roy and the late Dr. Jon Weber were honored for their work in developing bone grafts from coral found in tropical oceans.
Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) praised the accomplishments of the awardees.
"At a time when some question the value of federal investments in this type of research, these awardees demonstrate how federally funded science research can and does yield unexpected results with immeasurable benefits to the American economy and to the American public as a whole. Perhaps no one person embodies this more than Dr. Charles Townes, the inventor of laser technology. The enormous economic and societal implications of laser technology are obvious to all and though they may not be as well known yet, the research discoveries of the other recipients have also touched the lives of people across the world. The Golden Goose Awards are a reminder to us all that the value of the science cannot be judged by the title of a grant proposal alone. I congratulate the awardees and thank them for their important work."
The awards were supported by: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Breakthrough Institute, the Progressive Policy Institute, the Task Force on American Innovation, the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, The Science Coalition, United for Medical Research, the American Chemical Society, the American Mathematical Society and the Association of American Medical Colleges.