Awards: Congress’ support of technology recognized
Washington, DC —Two members of the U.S. Congress were rewarded last week for support of engineering and technology, according to IEEE-USA .
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) received the 2007 George E. Brown Jr. Science, Engineering, and Technology Leadership Award on May 1 “for their prominent roles in ensuring that the United States meets the global competitiveness challenges of the 21st century,” says IEEE. “Through their enthusiastic support for science, engineering and technology research and education, the congressional leaders have helped Congress understand and act upon the connection between basic research and the U.S. innovation enterprise,” according to the engineering organization.
Pelosi was chosen for leading the House Democrats’ Innovation Agenda, which she unveiled in November of 2005. The Innovation Agenda, which follows recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences’ “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” report, proposes concrete measures for an educated and skilled U.S. workforce and revitalized research at U.S. universities and national laboratories. Since announcing the Innovation Agenda, Pelosi has championed its proposals, most notably upon becoming speaker of the 110th Congress, when science research was made one of the few priorities in the Fiscal Year 2007 joint-funding resolution, according to IEEE.
Alexander is being recognized for “requesting and tirelessly publicizing, with Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Rising Above the Gathering Storm, which has had an immense influence on bringing attention to the issues of U.S. competitiveness and innovation, and the leadership role government needs to play,” IEEE says. Alexander has co-sponsored many pieces of legislation, most notably the America COMPETES Act (S.761), which passed the Senate on April 25. The bill would codify into law most of the recommendations of the “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” report.
The award is presented annually by the Science, Engineering and Technology Work Group to members of Congress who are effective advocates of federal science and technology. It is named for the late Rep. George E. Brown Jr., a longtime member of Congress who made outstanding contributions to federal support for science and technology over a long and distinguished career in Congress.
The Science-Engineering-Technology Work Group, of which IEEE-USA is a member, is an information network of professional, scientific, and engineering societies, higher education associations, institutions of higher learning and trade associations. It is concerned about the future vitality of the U.S. science, mathematics, and engineering enterprise.