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Congressman Holds Listening Session on Future of NSF
Durham, NC - Congressman Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) returned to his alma mater on Monday to hear more about basic science research and related issues from representatives from universities in the Southeast.
Lipinski, who sits on the House Science and Technology Committee that oversees policy decisions related to the major science research agencies, scheduled his visit to Duke as a part of a nationwide listening tour in which he is soliciting comments on the reauthorization of programs contained in the America COMPETES Act. The COMPETES Act -- an acronym for Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science -- aims to improve the nation's economic competitiveness through investments in basic research and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
Chair of the Research and Science Education Subcommittee, Lipinski focused attention during the visit on the reauthorization of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which will be included in the COMPETES legislation.
"As a former professor, and as someone who received an NSF research grant while a graduate student, I'm excited to be chairing the subcommittee responsible for developing the NSF reauthorization bill," Lipinski said. "Making sure that our colleges and universities have access to the tools and resources they need is essential to enhancing America's economic competitiveness.
"We need to bolster support for our academic research infrastructure and focus on STEM education at the undergraduate and graduate levels if we're going to continue to lead the world in cutting-edge research. I want to thank Duke University for arranging today's very informative listening session, and thank as well everyone who participated for sharing their valuable insights. It's extremely important to me to have the opportunity to hear from those directly impacted by the NSF as I work to shape the NSF reauthorization and help ensure our country is prepared to compete in the global economy of the 21st Century."
Monday's meeting included senior research officers and government relations officials from Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, East Carolina University, Virginia Tech University, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Clemson University, Emory University, and Winston-Salem State University
"We certainly appreciate the Congressman's outreach in soliciting opinions from those of us who are most directly affected by these programs," said Jim Siedow, Duke's vice provost for research. "The NSF is the 2nd largest sponsor of research here at Duke, so having a voice in the reauthorization process is exceedingly important."
Melissa Vetterkind, assistant director of federal relations at Duke added, "Of course, we are also honored that the congressman chose Duke as the place to convene such an important discussion. We're looking forward to working with him and his staff as this legislation moves along in the legislative process."
While on campus, Lipinski, who graduated from Duke with a Ph.D. in political science in 1998, also took the opportunity to visit with members of that department.
"I'm always really happy to be back here and happy to be out promoting Duke everywhere I go," Lipinski said.
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