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Bipartisan Group of Congress Members Commend Winners of the Golden Goose Awards

Friday, September 20, 2013 - 13:53

At the Golden Goose Awards Ceremony last night in Washington, DC, a cadre of researchers were recognized for seemingly obscure basic research that has reaped huge and wholly unexpected rewards in societal applications. The recipients of this year's awards included David Gale, Lloyd Shapley (son of another Shapley you might know), and Alvin Roth for their work developing algorithms for the stable marriage problem and applying them to matching medical residents to residencies, kidney donors with recipients, and urban kids with the right schools; John Eng for his work on Gila monster venom that led to drugs that protect diabetics from severe complications; and Thomas Brock and Hudson Freeze for their discovery of a heat-resistant microorganism among the slime molds of Yellowstone that would open the door to modern biotechnology.

The ceremony opened with a video honoring this year's recipients:

During the subsequent discussion with moderator Paul McKellips,

the recipients discussed their research pursuits

and perspectives on the future of American scientific research.

And though the tenor was not wholly optimistic given the current funding landscape, it was encouraging to see researchers rewarded for their efforts and recognized by members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. The bipartisan group of members addressed the winners and the crowd, thanking the researchers for their great work and expressing strong support for basic science research in the US. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) reiterated his support for the awards as a wonderful example of how to translate the successes of scientific research for policymakers:

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) also expressed his support for the awards and for strong investments in science education:

It was a great celebration of the fruits of federal investment in basic research, and serves as a strong counterpoint to the cries of wasteful government spending we hear all too often from Congress. With the support of Congress members like Reps. Jim Cooper of TN, Charlie Dent of PA, Rush Holt of NJ, Randy Hultgren of IL, and Senator Chris Coons of DE who were all in attendance last night, the basic research community in the US can continue to thrive.

Joshua H. Shiode
John Bahcall Public Policy Fellow
American Astronomical Society
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