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President Stanley Discusses Scientific Research at Capitol

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From left: Daniel Fogel, James Clements, Samuel Stanley, Allan Gilmour, Randy Woodson, Joseph Aoun, Michael Johns, and 2011 Science Coalition President Christopher Carter

Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., joined other university leaders and U.S. Senators on March 31 for a roundtable discussion at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on the vital role university-based scientific research plays in fueling innovation and sparking economic growth.

The event was organized by the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, chaired by Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), and included participation by Senators Daniel Akaka (HI), Benjamin Cardin (MD),  Kay Hagan (NC), Bernard Sanders (VT), and Debbie Stabenow (MI). Joining President Stanley were university leaders Joseph Aoun, President of Northeastern University; James Clements, President of West Virginia University; Daniel Fogel, President of the University of Vermont; Allan Gilmour, President of Wayne State University; Michael Johns, Chancellor of Emory University; Wallace Loh, President of the University of Maryland; and Randy Woodson, Chancellor of North Carolina State University. Stony Brook, along with the universities listed above, are members of The Science Coalition.

The university leaders discussed the many ways in which federally funded university-based research helps fuel the economy–from being local economic engines to helping drive industrial innovation to enabling America to compete in the global economy.

President Stanley acknowledged the wisdom of the long-standing partnership between the federal government and U.S. research universities that was forged during World War II to conduct research on behalf of the American people. “We cannot let the current efforts at budget reduction derail what has been arguably the most successful investing partnership in the world,” cautioned President Stanley. “Funding to universities through the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has created jobs, improved health domestically and around the world, and helped create the technological advances that have fundamentally changed the human condition.”

The discussion occurred as Congress and the White House worked to negotiate an agreement to fund the government through the remainder of the fiscal year. Federal funding for scientific research is among the government programs targeted for significant reduction under certain budget-cutting scenarios.

The Science Coalition is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization of the nation’s leading public and private research universities. It is dedicated to maintaining strong federal funding of basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, drive innovation, and secure America’s global competitiveness.

Learn how federally funded university research creates innovation, new companies, and jobs at www.sciencecoalition.org/successstories/.

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