Award Highlights Unusual Research that Resulted in Major Health, Economic Impact

Scientists’ federally funded research revolutionized our understanding of adolescent health and behavior, led to the eradication of the deadly screwworm fly (and a possible technique for fighting Zika), and helped enable a faster more efficient internet

Award ceremony at Library of Congress 5:30 p.m.; awardees available Thursday, Sept. 22, afternoon to speak with reporters

WASHINGTON, DC – Members of Congress, representatives of the academic, scientific and business communities and other luminaries will gather in Washington Thursday, September 22, at 5:30 p.m. to honor three teams of researchers whose federally funded work may not have seemed to have practical application at the time it was conducted, but has resulted in tremendous societal and economic benefits.

The researchers are the 2016 recipients of the Golden Goose Award, which highlights the unpredictable nature of basic scientific research and the fact that some of the most important scientific discoveries come from federally funded research that may once have been viewed as unusual, odd or obscure.  The award ceremony and a reception will be held at the Library of Congress Jefferson Building (Coolidge Auditorium, 1ST Floor).

Awardees:  Peter Bearman, Barbara Entwisle, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Ronald Rindfuss and J. Richard Udry (deceased) for their work developing and carrying out the landmark multidisciplinary, longitudinal study of the social and biological factors that influence adolescent health: The Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, or Add Health. This NIH-funded study not only has been fundamental to understanding adolescent health but now is having an impact on understanding of lifelong health issues – all despite the significant opposition the researchers had to overcome, including the cancelation of an earlier study.

Edward F. Knipling (deceased) and Raymond C. Bushland (deceased) for their study of the “Sex Life of the Screwworm Fly.” Their USDA-funded work led to a novel pest control technique and the eradication of the deadly fly in North and Central America, which has saved the livestock industry and consumers billions of dollars over the past 50-plus years. Their “sterile insect technique” informs ongoing fights against other agricultural pests and insects carrying infectious pathogens, including the Aedes aegypti mosquito – the primary culprit in transmission of the Zika virus.

John Bartholdi, Sunil Nakrani, Thomas D. Seeley, Craig A. Tovey and John Vande Vate for their study of honey bee foraging behavior and development of the “Honey Bee Algorithm” for shared web server allocation, which is now being used by major web hosting companies to streamline internet services for consumers and maximize revenues in a global market worth more than $50 billion.

Participants: Rep. Jim Cooper, Sen. Chris Coons, Rep. Bill Foster, Rep. Randy Hultgren, Rep. Robert Dold and other Members of Congress

Master of Ceremonies: Frank Sesno, Former CNN anchor and Director, School of Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University

What: Golden Goose Award Ceremony and Reception

When: 5:30 p.m., Thursday, September 22

Awardees are available to speak with reporters Thursday afternoon. If interested, contact Josh Shiode (, Barry Toiv (, or Sue Garman Kranias ( to arrange an interview.

Where: The Library of Congress Jefferson Building – Coolidge Auditorium (1ST floor)

Streaming online at

Twitter: Follow @GoldGooseAward and #GGA16 on Twitter during the event

The Golden Goose Award was created and jointly launched by a coalition of organizations that believe that federally funded basic scientific research is the cornerstone of American innovation and essential to our economic growth, health, global competitiveness and national security.

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