Chemists honor Congressmen Hinojosa, Hobson and NAS President Cicerone

WASHINGTON, April 25 — The American Chemical Society presented its 2007 Public Service Awards to U.S. Representatives RubÉn Hinojosa (D-TX) and David Hobson (R-OH) and National Academy of Sciences President Ralph J. Cicerone, Ph.D., today for their efforts to improve America’s competitiveness in education and science.

”While many have sounded the call to boost America's competitiveness and innovation, these leaders have worked and are continuing to work to ensure that America has the resources, education and knowledge necessary to stay at the forefront of the 21st Century. We celebrate their hard work and selfless contributions to America's future,” said ACS President Catherine T. Hunt, Ph.D. “ACS is excited to present its 2007 Public Service Awards to Congressmen Hinojosa and Hobson and to National Academy of Sciences President Cicerone.”

The award ceremony was held in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. The presentation was in conjunction with the Council on Undergraduate Research’s annual “2007 Posters on the Hill” event. The posters represent a sampling of the latest, cutting-edge research from undergraduates in science, mathematics and the humanities. ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, has honored public officials for more than a decade for their contributions to science and education.

The awardees were recognized for the following:

  • As President of the National Academy of Sciences, Ralph Cicerone, Ph.D., has helped shape science and environmental policy at the highest levels, nationally and internationally. Following a request from the U.S. Senate, Dr. Cicerone led a panel that produced the report, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future.” This report attracted attention from Congress, the administration and the media for its recommendations that provided a blueprint to help America increase its ability to innovate and to meet its competitiveness challenge.
  • During his five terms in Congress, Rep. RubÉn Hinojosa has focused on increasing opportunities for people from poor or disadvantaged backgrounds to compete successfully in the increasingly technological global economy. In 2006, he introduced the Partnerships for Access to Laboratory Science Act (PALS), which would improve science laboratory access for high school students in high-need areas. That legislation recently was approved by the House Science Committee. Rep. Hinojosa helped create the Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology Week Conference (HESTEC) in his 15th congressional district. The conference attracts more than 20,000 students each year. Rep. Hinojosa is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Education Task Force and chairs the Education and Labor Committee’s Higher Education and Competitiveness Subcommittee.
  • During his nine terms in Congress, Rep. David Hobson has been a strong advocate of increasing investment in the basic research and development conducted by the government. Rep. Hobson’s district includes Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, home of the Air Force Research Laboratory. He is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and currently is the ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Energy and its Office of Science. As immediate past chair of the Energy and Water Subcommittee, Rep. Hobson oversaw a major increase in funding for basic science at the Department of Energy.