Press Room > Press Release

Contact: Erin Heath
Public Affairs Representative
American Institute of Biological Sciences
202-628-1500 x232

March 13, 2006


Congressmen lauded for their commitment to biological and agricultural research

Washington, DC—Rep. Rush Holt, a Democrat representing New Jersey's 12th District, and Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers, a Republican representing Michigan's 3rd District, will receive an award on March 14 from the Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition ( BESC ) and the Coalition on Funding Agricultural Research Missions (CoFARM).

The BESC /CoFARM award recognizes contributions in biological and agricultural science policy. Holt and Ehlers will accept their awards at an evening reception in the Longworth House Office Building.

“Science knows few greater friends than Congressman Ehlers and Congressman Holt,” said CoFARM Chairman Ted Cartwright, the director of science and government relations for the Institute of Food Technologists . “Their steadfast support of the scientific community has helped to promote a robust science enterprise in the United States.”

“I'd like to thank Congressman Holt for his outstanding support of strong science education,” said Robert Gropp, public policy director of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and one of the three co-chairs of BESC. “We are presenting this award to him because of his longstanding efforts, as a research scientist and as a member of Congress, to bridge the gap between science and policy. He's a great model for young scientists, showing them that they can make a difference—both inside and outside of the lab.”

“Representative Ehlers has always been a strong advocate for scientific research and education across all scientific disciplines,” said BESC co-chair Adrienne Sponberg, public affairs director of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. “His interest and support for science goes beyond the conduct and health of research, however. As chair of the House Science Committee's Environment, Technology and Standards subcommittee, Rep. Ehlers has sponsored and advocated for legislation to improve the scientific basis and integration of research findings into environmental policies such as prevention and control of invasive species and forecasting of harmful algal blooms. The scientists represented by our organizations are dedicated to providing information for better management of our biological resources, and we appreciate Rep. Ehlers' efforts on Capitol Hill to ensure that their science is integrated into policy.”

The Coalition on Funding Agricultural Research Missions (CoFARM) is a broadly based coalition united by a commitment to advance and sustain investment in our nation's fundamental and applied agricultural research. CoFARM was formed in 1990 because the benefits of food and agricultural research were undervalued. Since then, public investment in agricultural research has become stagnant and may be inadequate to meet the challenges of the next century. Please visit for more information.

The Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition ( BESC ) is an alliance of organizations united by a concern for every aspect of the biology of the natural world, from agricultural systems to zoology. BESC supports the goal of increasing the nation's investment in the non-medical biological sciences across all federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Please visit


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