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Northwestern Hails Champions of Science

VP for Research joins in saluting Illinois members of Congress for their commitment to research funding

EVANSTON, Ill. - Jay Walsh, Northwestern’s vice president for research, joined college and university leaders from across the country last week in Washington, D.C., to applaud some 30 members of Congress who are Science Coalition Champions of Science.

These legislators were honored for demonstrating a continuing commitment to funding the basic research that keeps the U.S. at the forefront of scientific and medical discovery and that fuels the nation’s innovation pipeline.

Walsh and colleagues from the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University and Fermi Lab presented an award to Rep. Dan Lipinski during the biennial Breakfast of Champions. Sen. Dick Durbin also was honored this year, and Rep. Randy Hultgren was recognized as a past Champion.

The Breakfast of Champions event celebrates sitting members of Congress who have received the award and recognizes the most recent class of champions -- those who received their award in the past two years -- with commemorative Wheaties cereal boxes.

The Science Coalition is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization of more than 60 U.S. public and private research universities. Its Champion of Science award is given each year to a small number of 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 for America. The coalition believes research is crucial for the nation 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. About 80 members of Congress have received the award since 1999.

This year’s breakfast, held in the Kennedy Caucus Room on Capitol Hill, was attended by more than 160 people.

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