- The following is a guest essay submitted by 14th District U.S. Congressman Randy Hultgren.
Since the development of the scientific method, science has propelled human advancement. Newer technologies in healthcare have extended the lives of people with terminal diseases. High energy physics, like that carried out at Fermilab in Batavia, have not only led to a better understanding of the universe’s building blocks, but to advancements in MRI technology and lifesaving cancer therapies. Advancements in mathematics and computer science have provided the foundation for mankind to explore everything from their cells at the molecular level to the moon, Mars and beyond.
As a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, I believe it is in the public interest to pursue basic scientific research, the kind that leads to new discoveries about our world and ourselves. I have introduced, and the House has passed, two pieces of legislation toward that end.
H.R. 5120, the Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014, aims to improve the quality of our national laboratories like Fermilab and Argonne, and create opportunities for the private sector to take part in and benefit from scientific research.
We don’t want the great discoveries of today getting stuck in the labs. Public-private partnerships can help move those discoveries to the marketplace where businesses and entrepreneurs can take the risk on a new product. These businesses would be able to research more easily, at a faster rate, and at the same time expand their portfolio, allowing them to hire hundreds if not thousands of Illinois workers.
H.R. 2495, the American Super Computing Leadership Act, seeks to improve our computing capabilities to “exascale” speed—the natural speed of human brain. Calculating nuclear decay requires advanced computing speeds, and our national security depends on getting our testing right. Advanced modeling of the human brain gives scientists a better understanding of what causes Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease, and what can treat it.
Both of these bills passed with strong bipartisan support, showing that everyone can come together to propel the United States into the 21st century of science and technology.
I urge the members of the Senate to pass the bills in the coming weeks. A vote for science is a vote for jobs and our future.
Illinois’ 14th U.S. Congressional District
- Editor’s Note: What’s the difference between a guest essay and a letter to the editor? The short answer is: not a whole lot. For submissions to Kane County Connects’ opinion page, we’ll use the “letter to the editor” heading for letters submitted by John or Jane Q. Public, good citizens like you and me. We’ll use the “guest essay” moniker when the text is submitted to Kane County Connects from an elected official or someone who has a particular level of expertise on a given topic. Letters to the editor and guest essays can be illustrated by one of our opinions logos, a head-and-shoulder shot of the author or an image or graphic depicting the subject matter of the letter or essay.
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