The Science Coalition today presented Congresswoman Louise Slaughter with its Champion of Science Award in recognition of her strong commitment to funding the basic research that keeps the United States and the state of New York at the forefront of scientific discovery and technological innovation.
"As a microbiologist, Congresswoman Slaughter has a unique understanding of the vital role that investment in basic research plays in the development of medical advances, as well as its contribution to education and economic development," said Science Coalition President Tim Leshan of Northeastern University. "She has been a tireless advocate on all issues related to science, health and research and we are pleased to present her with this award."
Throughout her career, Congresswoman Slaughter has been an ardent supporter of scientific research and health care innovation, having fought to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy Office of Science. She has been particularly passionate on women's health research and supported legislation establishing the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health, and in 2000 was honored with the "Visionary for Women's Health Research" award. She fought for 13 years to pass the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, known as GINA, because she understood how important it was to medical research that people be free from the fear of losing their job or their health insurance if they participated in a clinical trial and discovered a genetic predisposition to a disorder as a result.
"I am delighted to present this award to one of the greatest advocates for higher education and research in Congress today," said University of Rochester President Joel Seligman. "Congresswoman Slaughter is a true friend of science and we could have no better champion. Her passion, leadership and tenacity in support of university-based scientific research help fuel the innovation and discoveries that allow us to enhance the nation's global competitiveness, drive economic growth, strengthen national security, and improve lives."
"Congresswoman Slaughter has always been a tremendous advocate for higher education and research. We appreciate her leadership in defending federal funding for scientific research, which is critical for driving a knowledge-based economy," said University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi. "The Congresswoman was an early champion of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in downtown Buffalo, and has remained a steadfast supporter of the vision UB shares with our life sciences partners in the region: to transform Western New York into a world leader in health care discovery and delivery."
The award was presented to Congresswoman Slaughter by University of Rochester President Joel Seligman at an event at the University. University of Rochester representatives including Medical Center CEO Bradford Berk, researchers and students attended the event. The Congresswoman's district previously included parts of Buffalo as well as Rochester. Both University of Rochester and University at Buffalo are members of The Science Coalition. Other New York state Science Coalition members include Binghamton University, City University of New York, Columbia University, New York University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stony Brook University, Syracuse University, and State University of New York (SUNY) System.
"Even in these tough economic times, Congress must make the investments in scientific research and technological innovation that will allow our country to meet each challenge," said Congresswoman Slaughter. "In an age when our politics often give us reason for despair, the constant progress of science gives us confidence in the realization of a better tomorrow."
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. Congresswoman Slaughter joins a distinguished group of more than 60 current and former members of Congress who have received this award since 1999.