4 December 2018

Presidential Citation to Be Presented in Recognition of Bipartisan Science Policy Leadership

Posted by Joan Buhrman

Eric Davidson, President, AGU and Chris McEntee, Executive Director/CEO, AGU

As mentioned in our previous post to the community, in recognition of their bipartisan leadership in advancing Earth and space science policy, AGU is awarding the Presidential Citation for Science and Society to Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI).

We asked both Senators to share with us what receiving the award means to them.

Senator Gardner said:

“It is a true honor to receive the American Geophysical Union’s Presidential Citation for my bipartisan work on science policy,” said Gardner. “Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance important science-related policy initiatives, including landmark legislation with Senator Peters – The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. Solutions for our most serious issues, such as climate change, will require bipartisan action and resolve, and I look forward to continuing to work with the American Geophysical Union to promote research on and tackle issues like climate change, natural hazards, and space.

Senator Peters said:

“Scientific research seeds incredible new opportunities for economic growth, whether we’re pushing the boundaries of basic science research or traveling farther into space than ever before. I’m proud to work with Senator Gardner to highlight bipartisan support for federal investments that will drive groundbreaking discoveries, create new jobs and new industries, and yield tremendous benefits for our future. I’m honored to receive this award, and I look forward to continuing to work with the AGU to see where our discoveries take us next.”

Senators Gary Peters and Cory Gardner were selected for their bipartisan efforts to pass the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2017. The legislation strengthens our nation’s STEM education pipeline, increases the number of women and underrepresented minorities within STEM fields, and sets robust authorization levels for the National Science Foundation, while avoiding congressional interference in the allocation to NSF’s directorates, including Geosciences. During such politically contentious times as these, when progress is dead-locked by deep divisions, the bipartisan approach taken to pass this important legislation is notable.

The two Senators, both of whom sit on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee have worked hard to foster not only a bipartisan approach to science policy, but also a collaborative and inclusive one. In crafting the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, they invited input from federal agencies, universities, science associations and industry, and then carefully shepherded the bill to passage.

Senators Gardner and Peters also cosponsored the Space Weather and Forecasting Act, which aims to increase federal scientific research and data collection about space weather events and prepare for space weather hazards, and co-wrote a letter supporting a 4% increase in funding for science agencies. Moreover, each Senator has met with climate and other scientists many times over the last several years, in some cases through the auspices of Congressional Visits Days sponsored by AGU and other science societies.

Independently, Senator Gardner was one of 3 Republican co-sponsors of the Natural Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Act that passed just this month and has been a champion for the work of the Department of Energy ARPA-E research program and of both UCAR and NCAR.

Senator Peters has also championed a number of science policy bills, including being an original cosponsor on the Scientific Integrity Act and sponsoring the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act and the STEM Opportunities Act.

We are gratified that these Senators have not only helped to advance Earth and space science but also have put aside partisanship to further sound science policy. We are looking forward to deepening our relationships with these offices in the coming Congress to achieve our shared objectives. Both Senators expressed their appreciation for the recognition and their desire to work collaboratively with each other and our community.