Pelosi: 'American Scientists Are on the Cutting Edge of Innovation'

May 2, 2007
Press Release
Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today to honor the five American scientists who swept the Nobel Prize Science Awards in 2006.  This week, they are in Washington, D.C. meeting with Members of Congress to highlight the need to invest in research and development.

'In 2006, for the first time in more than 20 years, scientists from the United Statesswept the Nobel Prize Science Awards.  These American scientists are on the cutting edge of innovation, and I congratulate them on behalf of the United States Congress.  Just yesterday, the House passed a resolution authored by Congressman Jerry McNerney of California that recognized their extraordinary accomplishments.

'I am especially proud that three of the five scientists hail from my home state ofCalifornia, and that they are all gathered here today to advocate for a sustained federal commitment to basic research.  It is a goal that the Congress shares.

'An enhanced federal investment in long-term basic research is crucial to future innovations and America's overall competitiveness.  Basic research serves as the building blocks of technological advancement, but because it doesn't always directly lead to the creation of new products and services, private funding for basic research is not a priority.  That is where the federal government must step in to ensure that basic research is adequately funded so that it continues to strengthen the foundation of innovation.

'The House Innovation Agenda calls for a long-term sustained commitment to funding basic research, and this week on the House floor, we are living up to that commitment with authorizations that will put us on the path to double funding for the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology within 10 years.

'I want to recognize the leadership of the Science and Technology Committee on these efforts, especially Chairman Bart Gordon of Tennessee, subcommittee Chairman Brian Baird of Washington, and subcommittee Chairman David Wu of Oregon.'

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The following scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize Science Awards in 2006:

\xc2\xb7         In chemistry, Roger D. Kornberg from StanfordUniversity for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription;

\xc2\xb7         In physiology or medicine, Andrew Fire from Stanford University School of Medicine and Craig Mello from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts for their discovery of RNA interference through gene silencing by double-stranded RNA; and

\xc2\xb7         In physics, John C. Mather from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland and George F. Smoot, a National Science Foundation grantee from the University of California at Berkeley, for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.