Representatives Daniel Lipinski (D-Illinois) and Dave Reichert (R-Washington) are the recipients of the 2013 Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) Congressional Leadership Award. The award is given to recognize congressional leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting public policy that advances the nation’s scientific research enterprise.

“We are fortunate to have two such strong supporters of the natural sciences in Congress,” said Nadine Lymn, co-chair of BESC and director of public affairs for the Ecological Society of America. “Representatives Lipinski and Reichert have repeatedly demonstrated that they value the contributions of biology and other sciences to society and believe that sustaining the nation’s research and technology enterprise is a worthy investment.”

Lipinski is the Ranking Member on the House Subcommittee on Research. He sponsored the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2010, which authorized increased funding for the National Science Foundation; the legislation became part of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law in 2011. Lipinski is a vocal supporter of the use of prizes to stimulate innovation, and successfully amended U.S. law to allow federal agencies to award cash prizes to innovators. The congressman is also a co-chair of the House Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Education Caucus, and a member of the Congressional Research and Development Caucus.

Reichert has worked actively to conserve the wild areas of Washington state and the nation. A former member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, he sponsored a resolution that recognized the contributions of female scientists. Reichert was one of only 17 House Republicans to support the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. He is co-chair of the National Parks Caucus and National Landscape Conservation Caucus, and a member of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus and Wild Salmon Caucus. Reichert is chair of the Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“Representatives Lipinski and Reichert are steadfast advocates for scientific research, particularly at the National Science Foundation,” said BESC co-chair Robert Gropp, director of public policy at the American Institute of Biological Sciences. “They both appreciate that research drives innovation, contributes to the solution of complex problems, and will help drive new economic growth.”

The Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) is an alliance of organizations united by a concern for every aspect of the biology of the natural world, from agricultural systems to zoology. BESC supports the goal of increasing the nation’s investment in the non-medical biological sciences across all federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


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