Science and Technology Policy: A View from Washington, D.C.

September 18, 2009


As science and technology becomes more important in the health and well-being of our nation, Washington, D.C. is important in advocating for a more scientifically informed public.  C2ST held a discussion with local representatives from Washington on how to maintain healthy and stable levels of funding for basic and applied scientific research and the impact of working to strengthen our countries’ basic scientific research facilities.


Congresswoman Judy Biggert (13th-IL.) and Congressman Bill Foster (14th-IL.), moderated by Nobelist Dr. Leon Lederman.

Judy Biggert,  a Representative from Illinois; born in Chicago, Cook County, Ill., August 15, 1937; attended New Trier High School, Winnetka, Ill.; B.A., Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., 1959; J.D., Northwestern University Law School, Evanston, Ill., 1963; clerk to Judge Luther M. Swygert, U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1963-1964; president, board of education, Hinsdale Township High School district 86, Hinsdale Township, Ill., 1983-1986; member of the Illinois state general assembly, 1993-1998; elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Sixth and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1999-present).

Representative Bill Foster was elected to fill the remaining term of former Speaker Dennis Hastert in one of the most closely watched special elections in more than a decade. His stunning victory was hailed by analysts across the country as a sign of the changing landcape of 2008. He was sworn in to represent the people of Illinois’ 14th Congressional District on March 11, 2008.

Before being elected Congressman, Rep. Foster worked as a researcher at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FermiLab) for 22 years. At Fermilab, Foster started his distinguished career by helping discover the top quark, the heaviest known form of matter. He also led the team that designed and built several scientific facilities and detectors still in use today including the Recycler Ring, a giant particle accelerator.

Dr. Leon Lederman is Director Emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, holds an appointment as Pritzker Professor of Science at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and is a founder and Resident Scholar at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards including the National Medal of Science (1965), the Elliot Cresson Medal of the Franklin Institute (1976), the Wolf Prize in Physics (1982), the Nobel Prize in Physics (1988) and the Enrico Fermi Prize given by President Clinton (1993). He is a past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served as a founding member of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel and the International Committee for Future Accelerators.