Washington, DC, May 6, 2015 –The Science Coalition today presented U.S. Senator Richard Shelby with its Champion of Science Award in recognition of his commitment to funding the basic research that keeps the United States and the state of Alabama at the forefront of scientific and medical discovery and technological innovation.  

The award was presented to Senator Shelby at an event in Washington, DC by Auburn University President Dr. Jay Gogue and University of Alabama Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dr. Carl Pinkert. Auburn and the University of Alabama are members of The Science Coalition. A crowd of more than 100 federal relations and public affairs representatives from universities across the country were on hand to help recognize Sen. Shelby and thank him for his longstanding support of funding for basic scientific and biomedical research. 

“Senator Shelby plays a vital role in securing our nation’s economic future and competitiveness on the global stage. Throughout his career, he has placed a top priority on advancing education, research and technology that creates economic opportunity and improves quality of life. We’re grateful for his leadership and vision,” said Auburn President Jay Gogue.

“Senator Richard Shelby is a powerful and effective advocate for higher education and the role of academic research in economic growth and job creation,” said Dr. Robert Witt, Chancellor of The University of Alabama System. “As Alabama’s senior Senator and one of America’s most respected statesmen, Senator Shelby brings vision, integrity and wisdom to his work on behalf of our fellow citizens.  His legacy on our campuses is transformational and we are grateful for his leadership.”

“Scientific research is critical to securing America’s competitive edge in our global economy today and in the future,” said Senator Richard Shelby. “That is why as the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science,  I will continue to invest in our nation’s research universities through NSF, and maintain support for key federal agencies, such NASA, NOAA, and NIST, that have pushed the boundaries of scientific research and technology.”

In his leadership positions on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Shelby has a long track record of working to maintain and strengthen research funding for key federal agencies, including NASA, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. He has further been a partner to the universities and research institutions in his state to advance and promote their efforts to build their scientific capabilities, including collaboration with private industry and STEM education.

“Senator Shelby has long seen the connection between the strength of America’s research enterprise, the strength of our economy, and the well-being of our citizens. The Science Coalition is very pleased to recognize Senator Shelby as a Champion of Science for his historically strong support of the research universities in his state and his leadership in Congress on behalf of strong funding for basic scientific and biomedical research,” said Science Coalition President Amanda Arnold.  

The Science Coalition’s Champion of Science Award recognizes members of Congress whose actions and votes consistently reflect their belief that basic scientific research, conducted at universities and national labs across the country, is essential to the nation’s ability to address pressing issues in health, security, energy and the environment, and additionally, that a strong federally supported basic research enterprise drives innovation that fuels the U.S. economy. Senator Shelby joins a distinguished group of more than 60 current and former members of Congress who have received this award since 1999.


The Science Coalition, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization of the nation’s leading public and private research universities, is dedicated to sustaining strong federal funding of basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation and drive America’s global competitiveness. Learn more at www.sciencecoalition.org.

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