American Chemical Society honors Congressmen Baird and Culberson for Public Service

WASHINGTON, April 14, 2010 –– Rep. Brian N. Baird (D-WA) and Rep. John A. Culberson (R-TX) have received the American Chemical Society's (ACS) 2010 Public Service Award for their vision and leadership in science and engineering policy.

In presenting the awards at a Capitol Hill ceremony, ACS President Joseph S. Francisco, Ph.D., said:

“Our nation and our world are facing a future filled with challenges: Curing diseases; protecting public health and our natural resources; dealing with a changing climate; ensuring national security and a strong economy; and developing cleaner energy sources. All these challenges also represent great opportunities to integrate research, innovation, education, and wise policymaking to guide us to a more sustainable future.”

The leaders were recognized for their public service as follows:

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Rachael Bishop

  • Rep. Brian N. Baird, a clinical psychologist and one of the few members of Congress with a scientific background, Baird has played an active role on a broad range of issues important to the science and technology community. First elected to Congress in 1998, Baird has worked tirelessly in support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and on policies governing energy and the environment. He has served on the House Science and Technology Committee for more than 10 years and currently chairs the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. In the previous Congress, as chairman of the Research and Science Education Subcommittee, he helped craft sections of the America COMPETES bill. Throughout his career, Baird has supported basic research from validating scientific methodology and the peer-review process to championing national investments in the agencies, laboratories, and universities that conduct scientific research.

  • Rep. John A. Culberson, a former civil attorney, is a perennial advocate for national investments in science and medical research. Despite the economic downturn and partisan strife, Culberson continues to champion scientific breakthroughs as the key to U.S. economic health and competitive success in a global economy. During a 2009 appropriations hearing, Culberson said, “The success of America is contingent on the success of the National Science Foundation.” Culberson knows scientific research requires steady support in order to deliver significant results. A five-term representative of Texas’ 7th District, Culberson serves on several House Appropriations subcommittees, including Financial Services, Homeland Security, and Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, which funds the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

“This award honors two leaders in public policy who have been champions of strong scientific research funding, improved STEM education and economic competitiveness,” said Francisco. “It is through partnerships among the chemistry enterprise, the broader science community, and key policymakers such as tonight’s awardees that we will maintain our global leadership and secure a cleaner, safer, sustainable future for all.”

The awards were presented April 13, 2010, during a Capitol Hill ceremony held in conjunction with the Council on Undergraduate Research's annual "Posters on the Hill" event. The posters represent a sampling of the latest, cutting-edge research from undergraduates in science, mathematics and the humanities.


— Rachael Bishop