Media Advisory
For Release April 8, 2008

Contact: Robert Gropp, Co-Chair, BESC

Nadine Lymn, Co-Chair, BESC 

Whitney Tull, Chair, CoFARM

Representatives Baird and Bilbray to receive BESC/CoFARM Awards Today

Two science coalitions will honor Representative Brian Baird (D-WA) and Representative Brian Bilbray (R-CA) for their strong support for a national research portfolio that invests in all the sciences, engineering, and mathematics.  Nearly 50 biological and agricultural scientists from universities across the nation will honor their contributions to the nation’s research policy at a Capitol Hill reception this evening.    

The Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) supports the goal of increasing the nation's investment in the biological sciences across all federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The Coalition on Funding Agricultural Research Missions (CoFARM) works to raise awareness and support for the agricultural research community, especially through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Bilbray and Baird have repeatedly and clearly stated that the nation needs to invest broadly in the wide range of sciences, not disproportionately favor one field over another,” said CoFARM Chair Whitney Tull. 

“Both Members of Congress recognize that solutions to the myriad of challenges society faces will come from the social sciences, the biological sciences, mathematics, engineering, and the physical sciences,” added BESC Co-Chair Nadine Lymn, who is also with the Ecological Society of America.  “No one scientific field holds the key by itself; we make the best progress by broadly investing and integrating the results of all these fields.” 

“Through their actions, Chairman Baird and Representative Bilbray have demonstrated that they understand the best investment for the nation is one that funds all fields of scientific research” said Robert Gropp, who is Co-Chair of BESC and is also with the American Institute of Biological Sciences. 

Congressman Baird brings a unique perspective to the House of Representatives as a Ph.D. clinical psychologist who practiced in Washington and Oregon and taught at the university level prior to his election to Congress.  He serves on the Science and Technology Committee, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Budget Committee.  As Chair of the Research and Science Education Subcommittee, Baird has strongly championed investments in all sciences, and defended the integrity of the scientific method and peer-review.  He has also been a strong supporter of the America COMPETES Act.

Congressman Bilbray led a successful effort supporting inclusion of the biological sciences, social sciences, and interdisciplinary research in a research funding authorization.  In addition, Bilbray played a key role in gaining inclusion of language supporting the biological and social sciences in the report accompanying the NSF Authorization Act of 2007.  Representative Bilbray serves on the House Science and Technology Committee, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. 

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.  Public investment in agricultural research has stagnated and may be inadequate to meet the challenges of the next century.  Please visit for more information.

The Biological 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

  • 1990 M Street, NW
    Suite 700
    Washington, DC 20036
    P: 202-833-8773 (x-205)