Science Policy

Initiative
MIT Science Policy Initiative (SPI)
Report on Congressional Visits Day 2011
Washington DC, April 6 – 7, 2011
SPI participates annually in Congressional Visits Day (CVD), coordinated by the Science-
Engineering-Technology Working Group to raise visibility and support for science.
Since SPI started participating in CVD in 2006, more than 60 MIT students have visited
Capitol Hill to advocate for science funding and discuss their research at MIT, and SPI has
engaged more than 55 members of congress on science and technology policy issues.
Our visit to Washington this spring came at a challenging and politically charged time,
occurring during a budget showdown and a potential government shutdown. Despite the
dire political backdrop, our trip was a success, as can be seen by the enthusiastic responses
of students, many of whom were first-time participants.
For the second year, CVD participants prepared for congressional meetings by attending a
communication workshop with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The
workshop’s goal was to develop and hone skills in communicating science, and it proved to
be valuable preparation for meeting with congressional offices. Jean Sideris, Outreach
Coordinator for UCS, and her colleagues in Cambridge and (remotely) in DC trained CVD
participants to briefly summarize scientific points and powerfully answer questions.
During SPI’s visit to Washington, students received a morning briefing from the MIT DC
office staff. Topics ranged from the current budget situation to how best to communicate
about science in Washington. Students found this session to be extraordinarily useful. It
was followed by a AAAS briefing on the current political climate and the place of science
& technology in the ongoing budget talks. After a AAAS reception, MIT SPI members met
local alums working in policy-related fields in DC for an evening.
The following day was filled with meetings on the Hill, where students introduced SPI,
discussed their own research, enumerated the benefits of federally-funded science &
technology, and advocated for federal support of science and engineering research.
This year, 20 students visited 34 congressional offices throughout one day,
from both chambers and parties, and from 14 states.
By comparison, 12 students visited 13 offices in 2009, and 15 students visited 20 offices in
2010. While the number of students participating is clearly growing, the scale of our
participation in CVD is growing by a much larger degree. This reflects SPI’s growth as an
organization in terms of its capacity and efficiency as well as its size.
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We educate students in the policies governing science research & innovation,
explore how science & engineering can inform policy decisions, and facilitate
students' direct engagement in the science policy arena.
SPI thanks the MIT Washington DC office staff for tremendous support each year:
William B. Bonvillian, Director
Abby Benson, Assistant Director
Amanda Arnold, Senior Legislative Assistant
Helen Haislmaier, Program Coordinator
Lisa Miller, Office Representative
Thanks also to the UCS for their willingness to provide CVD participants with a
workshop on Communicating Science.
Jean Sideris, Outreach Coordinator
Suzanne Shaw, Director of Communications
Marchant Wentworth, Deputy Legislative Director, Climate & Energy Program
SPI is generously funded by:
Dean of the School of Engineering (Dean Ian Waitz)
Dean of the School of Science (Dean Marc Kastner)
VP for Research & Associate Provost Claude Canizares
Richard Locke (MIT Department of Political Science)
Dean for Student Life (Dean Chris Colombo)
Graduate Student Life Grant (ODGE, Dean Christine Ortiz)
Dean for Undergraduate Education (Dean Daniel Hastings)
MIT Graduate Student Council
MIT Public Service Center
Student Activities Office
Enclosed:
!
List of meetings from CVD 2011 and meeting schedule
!
Sample of materials arranged by SPI for meeting preparation
!
Sample of materials reviewed and left with congressional offices
!
Photos from CVD 2011
!
Students’ reflections on the CVD experience
!
Summaries of all congressional meetings
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Congressional Meetings
Washington DC, April 7, 2011
House
Rep.!Mike Honda (CA-D)
Rep.!Lynn Jenkins (KS-R)
Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-D)
Rep.!Ed Markey (MA-D)
Rep.!John Kline (MN-R)
Rep.!Patrick J. Tiberi (OH-R)
Rep.!Jared Polis (CO-D)
Rep.!Stephen Lynch (MA-D)
Rep.!Reid Ribble (WI-R)
Rep.!Mike Capuano (MA-D)
Rep.!Frank Giunta (NH-R)
Rep.!Robert Hurt (VA-R)
Rep.!Rob Wittman (VA-R)
Rep.!Jim Himes (CT-D)
*
Rep.!Jim Langevin (RI-D)
*
Rep.!John Olver (MA-D)
*
Rep.!Jason Chaffetz (UT-R)
*
denotes member meetings
Congressional Meetings
Washington DC, April 7, 2011
Senate
Sen.!Joe Lieberman (CT-I)
Sen.!Jack Reed (RI-D)
Sen.!Pat Roberts (KS-R)
*
Sen.!Ron Johnson (WI-R)
Sen.!John Ensign (NV-R)
Sen.!Mike Lee (UT-R)
Sen.!Jim Webb (VA-D)
Sen.!Orrin Hatch (UT-R)
Sen.!Jeanne Shaheen (NH-D)
Sen.!Dianne Feinstein (CA-D)
Sen.!Rob Portman (OH-R)
Sen.!John Kerry (MA-D)
Sen.!Mark Udall (CO-D)
Sen.!Scott Brown (MA-R)
*
Sen.!Kelly Ayotte (NH-R)
Sen.!Jerry Moran (KS-R)
Sen.!Mark Warner (VA-D)
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Sample of materials arranged for meeting preparation
For each meeting, CVD participants prepared fact sheets detailing the economic impact of
innovation for each state and a summary of each member’s relevant information. This
guaranteed that each student would know the relevant facts about the member with
whom they were meeting, and would have talking points about innovation and science
funding at the ready.
Materials for one meeting (with Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown):
!"##"$%&#'((#)*+#(,(&(')-.)/'$%+-0-12) 3$,'+$')4-0,$2)*+,(,"(,5'
! "#$%&'(%#)*+,-'
Prepared by the MIT Science Policy Initiative, April 2011
http://web.mit.edu/spi/
Contributions from Science, Technology and Education for the
State of Massachusetts

! There are 25,800 currently active companies around the world founded by
MIT alumni. They employ about 3.3 million people and generate annual
world revenues of $2 trillion, producing the equivalent of the eleventh-
largest economy in the world.
! There are more than 6,900 active MIT alumni-founded, Massachusetts-
headquartered companies.
! The estimated sales of the companies headquartered in Massachusetts—
$164 billion—represent 26 percent of the sales of all Massachusetts
companies.
! About 30 percent of MIT’s foreign students form companies, of which at
least half are located in the United States. Those estimated 2,340 firms
located in the U.S. but formed by MIT foreign-student alumni employ about
101,500 people.
! The MIT Technology Licensing Office has consistently led the country’s
universities in licensing technology to startup firms, licensing to 224 new
companies in just the past ten years.
! Historical examples include:
! Raytheon in missile and guidance systems
! Lotus Development
! A123 Systems and American Superconductor in advanced materials
! Genzyme, Biogen, and Alpha-Beta in biotechnology;
! Bose in acoustic systems
• Without MIT, most of these companies never would have been located
in Massachusetts. Less than 10 percent of MIT undergraduates grew up in
the state, but approximately 31 percent of all MIT alumni companies are
located in Massachusetts.
• Together, these leading companies provide a substantial part of
Massachusetts’ high-tech environment, helping to attract highly skilled
professionals and other firms to the state.
From Entrepreneurial impact: The role of MIT. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Entrepreneurship Center. 2009.
http://entrepreneurship.mit.edu/article/entrepreneurial-impact-role-mit
Senator Scott Brown
Republican

Massachusetts


Committees:

Armed Services
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Veterans' Affairs

COMPETES: N/A


Meeting Checklist
! Meet outside the office 5 minutes early. Know who is leading split up
talking points if desired.
! Make our ask several times, and ask for a commitment. If member
commits, ask them to lean on their colleagues.
! Gather and discuss what you heard. Leader fills out meeting form,
noting any follow-up items.

Sample of materials reviewed with congressional offices
For each meeting, CVD participants researched the economic impact of innovation from
science & engineering research in a each member’s state.
Below are representative samples of economic impact reports.
On the next page is our Leave-Behind summarizing the economic impact of innovation.
The document was prepared by SPI and left with all Congressional offices.
!"##"$%&#'((#)*+#(,(&(')-.)/'$%+-0-12) 3$,'+$')4-0,$2)*+,(,"(,5'
! "#$%&'(%#)*+,-'
Edward B. Roberts and Charles Eesley
MIT Sloan School of Management
February 2009
Entrepreneurial
Impact:
The Role of MIT
The Economic Impact of Sponsored Research
at the University of Utah
Jan Elise Crispin, Senior Research Economist
Introduction
Research is a defining characteristic of the University of Utah,
setting it apart from many other of the state’s institutions of higher
education. Each year, the University injects millions of dollars into
the local economy as it funds these research activities. This
spending contributes to the state’s economic base in myriad ways—
supporting and creating jobs, increasing earnings for Utah residents,
and providing tax revenue for state and local units of government.
In 2009 the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR)
at the University of Utah (U of U) was asked by the Office of the
Vice President for Research and the Office of Sponsored Projects
to identify the economic impact of the University’s sponsored
research spending on the Utah economy during fiscal year 2008,
and based on that analysis, to develop a set of metrics to measure
and quantify these impacts on an ongoing basis.
Using information provided by the University’s Department of
Financial and Business Services and the Department of Compliance
and Accounting Reporting, we estimated the impact of research
spending on the Utah economy measured by the impacts on jobs,
earnings, gross state product, and tax revenue during FY 2008.
From this analysis we developed a simple methodology that will
allow the University to assess these impacts on an annual basis.
The impacts in this study are based on the U of U’s research
expenditures. While the impacts of these expenditures capture the
ripple effects of direct University spending, they do not capture the
full economic contribution of the University’s research efforts. Many
technologies developed through the research process have potential
commercial applications that lead to the creation of new businesses
or the expansion of existing ones. These potential impacts could
be substantial, but are beyond the scope of this analysis.
Data Development and Methodology
Two types of impacts were estimated in this study. The first set of
estimates includes the economic impact of sponsored research
spending on gross state product (GSP), employment, and
employment earnings. The second type of impact is the fiscal
impact of tax revenue that flows to the state of Utah as a result of
taxable purchases.
2009 | Volume 69, Number 2
Highlights
• During FY08, the University of Utah spent approximately
$365 million to fund its research activities. Of this total,
$313.9 million (86 percent) stayed in Utah.
• When the indirect and induced ripple effects of sponsored
research spending are considered, the total annual impact
in FY08 was $525.3 million in gross state product (GSP)
for the state of Utah. This includes $268.8 million in direct
purchases by the University and $256.4 million generated
indirectly. Thus, every dollar in direct spending by the U of U
generates an additional 95 cents in GSP for the state of
Utah.
• Sponsored research directly generated 2,920 full-time-
equivalent jobs at the University of Utah. The indirect and
induced job creation totaled 4,380, for a total employment
impact of 7,300 full-time and part-time jobs in the state of
Utah. Thus, for every direct job supported by sponsored
research at the U of U, an additional 1.5 jobs are created in
other industry sectors.
• The estimated wage bill generated by the University’s
research spending was $310.0 million: $169.6 million in
direct University payroll and $140.4 million in earnings for
workers in other industry sectors. This represents an
earnings multiplier of 1.83; or for every dollar in earnings
paid directly by the U of U, an additional 83 cents of
earnings are generated for workers in other industries.
• Sponsored research spending generated $31.4 million in
state and local tax revenue in FY08. This includes $26.7
million in state taxes and $4.7 million in tax revenue for
local units of government.
• In relation to total economic activity in the state, the impacts
of the U of U’s sponsored research accounted for slightly
more than four-tenths of one percent of both Utah’s total
employment and total earnings during FY08. The $525.3
million impact on the state’s GSP represented almost one-
half of one percent of total state GSP in FY 2008.
• Every $1.0 million in sponsored research at the University
supports 20 jobs in Utah, generates approximately
$849,450 in earnings for Utah workers, contributes $1.4
million in GSP, and provides $86,135 in state and local tax
revenue.
1
The Economic Value of
Academic Research and
Development in Wisconsin
January 2009
©Wisconsin Technology Council
GE Healthcare, Wauwatosa
Te University of New Hampshire
A Pillar in the New Hampshire Economy
An Economic Impact Study
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1
Protect investment in innovation
by maintaining scientic research
funding levels in FY11
Research Drives the US Economy
Advancing science and engineering is critical for long-term eco-
nomic growth and national security.
• Educating the next generation of scientists and engineers
takes decades. Future American innovators depend on
sustained support for technical education.
2
Fund scientic research in FY12 and
beyond at levels authorized in the
America COMPETES Act
Urgent
Legislative
Priorities
Addressing the global challenges of today and tomorrow requires strong and sus-
tained support of federal investments in basic research.
• According to the US Dept of Education, demand for sci-
entists and engineers will increase at four times the rate of
other occupations in the next decade.
2
• More than half of US economic growth over the past 50
years is an indirect result of federal investment in STEM
education.
3
Without sustained investment in basic scientic research and developing U.S. [science and technology] talent, America is on a path to ceding
our premiere position to international competitors.
— Tapping America’s Potential (Business Roundtable) letter, March 2011
Science Policy
Initiative
Economic prosperity through science & engineering research
HR 1 would cut e National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) by 19%, causing NIST to:
• terminate training programs that develop America’s
global leadership in emerging technologies
• hamper eorts at national cybersecurity
HR 1 would cut e National Science Foundation (NSF)
by an eective 8.9% over the remaining 6 months of
the year. ese cuts:
• include an eective 28.1% cut to STEM education
programs when the nation most needs to enhance its
technological workforce
Proposed cuts to R&D in HR 1 would damage American competitiveness
• translate to 10,000 fewer university researchers re-
ceiving support for critical research and education
e Department of Energy Oce of Science would be
reduced by an eective 22%. ese cuts would elimi-
nate the Biological and Environmental Research pro-
gram, which supports transformative research in ra-
diation safety and biofuels for energy security.
e cuts would also shut down virtually all DOE nation-
al laboratory user facilities, aecting some 26,000 sci-
entists and engineers from universities, industry, and
government who rely on these facilities
Research and development is a declining priority for the US government
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0.8%
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1.2%
1.4%
Total R&D
Defense
Nondefense
Source: OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators, compiled by APS Physics. Source: “AAAS Report XXXV: Research & Development FY 2011”, compiled by Science Progress
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Year Year
Researchers at universities across the country are making substantial progress in a
diversity of elds. is document highlights examples of federally funded research
projects at MIT which are improving our understanding and treatment options
for disease and using engineering breakthroughs to improve our standard of living.
Fighting cancer using the human genome
Researchers at MIT’s David Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research are
using the Human Genome Project to understand the causes of cancer and how
it can be treated. One recent breakthrough at the Koch has allowed scientists to
build a detailed picture of how skin cancer is caused by mutations from
sunlight. Koch engineers are developing personalized combination thera-
pies that use cuing-edge molecular engineering to destroy cancer cells
while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Pictured to the le are growth signals
in cancer cells growing in the laboratory.
Lab model of autism
Autism is a complex disorder which can be caused by a number of dierent
genetic mutations, so autistic individuals vary signicantly in their symp-
toms. Nearly 1% of American children has autism, and there are currently no ef-
fective drugs available to treat the disor-
der. To make it easier to study autism in
the laboratory, researchers at MIT have
created a mutant mouse which displays
two of the most common traits of autism:
diculties in social interaction and com-
pulsize, repetitive behavior. By under-
standing the basis of these behaviors in mice, and potentially designing drugs to
treat these problems in mice, researchers may be able to develop treatments that
will help humans with autism.
Rescue robots
MIT-spino iRobot sent a number of robots to assist Japan in its recovery
from this spring’s tremendous earthquake and tsunami. e robots were spe-
cically designed to perform in hazardous situations and are likely to be useful
in performing tasks in the high radioactivity zone around the damaged nuclear
plant. e PackRobot (pictured), which also aided in searching the rub-
ble at Ground Zero, uses signicant articial intelligence and engineering
advances researched at MIT, funded by NASA to produce technologies
useful for extraterrestrial exploration.

1
National Institute of Standards and Technology. H.R. 1 Funding
Levels Program Impact Statement.
2
!U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statis-
Examples of recent breakthroughs by MIT researchers:
The combined cuts would save 0.039% from the FY 2011 budget
proposed by the President, but would set back important research,
shut down key facilities, and exacerbate the supply and development
of skilled STEM professionals.
— Council on Competitiveness open letter on HR 1, February, 2011
Endnotes
Massachuses Institute of Technology • Science Policy Initiative
hp://web.mit.edu/spi/ • sciencepolicy@mit.edu
tics, Institute of Education Sciences, National Assessment of Educa-
tional Progress (NAEP) 2007 (Mathematics) and 2005 (Science).

3
STEM Education Coalition: www.stemedcoalition.org
Scientic discovery and job-building transformative technologies take years to develop.
Programs and human capital lost to budget cuts cannot be easily restored.
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CONGRESSIONAL VISITS
The MIT Science Policy Initiative Visits Capitol Hill, April 2011
20 MIT Students visited Washington DC April 6-7, 2011 as part of the Science-Engineering-Technology Working
Group’s Congressional Visits Day (CVD).
Students received a briefing and tutorial on speaking with Congress from the staff of the MIT DC office, then attended
a AAAS briefing on the current budget situation. Students met with 34 members of Congress or their staffers to
advocate for science & engineering funding and describe their research at MIT.
web.mit.edu/spi
Left:
Members of MIT’s Science Policy
Initiative (SPI) stopped by the United
States Supreme Court building on their
way to a AAAS Briefing on current
legislative issues.
Below:
SPI Members Noah Spies (G) and Scott
Carlson (G) preparing for a meeting with
Senator Ensign’s office.
Left: Scott Carlson (G) and
Johanna Wolfson (G) instruct
new CVD participants at the MIT
DC office
Near Right: Standing in awe of
the Supreme Court
Far Right: Students learn how
to speak with Congress from
William Bonvillian, director of
the MIT DC office.
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CONGRESSIONAL VISITS
The MIT Science Policy Initiative Visits Capitol Hill, April 2011
Left:
Yiseul Cho (G), Michelle
Bentivegna (U), David
Healey (G) and Nat Twarog
(G) listen to the MIT DC
office staff give advice on
sharing science on Capitol
Hill.
Left: Science Policy
Initiative CVD participants
take a moment to reflect on
the steps of the Capitol
Building.
Right: MIT DC Office
Assistant Director Abby
Benson shares her insights
on how science is perceived
in Washington.
RIght:
SPI members
and MIT
Washington
Office Director
William Bonvillian
meet with
Massachusetts
Senator Scott
Brown and his
counsel, Jeffrey
Farrah.
web.mit.edu/spi
Students Describe their Participation in CVD
Michael Henninger, 5
th
-year PhD student, Physics
Going to Washington gives one a sense of perspective. Although we were there to
champion science/engineering and its funding to staffers who might not know fiber optics
from cystic fibrosis, learning from them was more important. Our congress-people are
buried under an overwhelming number of competing—and expensive—priorities. To be
an effective advocate, we must learn to clearly understand and demonstrate how our work
benefits their constituents.
Science is great, and our federal investment in R&D pays off handsomely, but we can’t
think for a moment that any of our work speaks for itself. We need to be able to explain it
to an audience that knows how to run a country but not a lab, while remembering that we
know how to run a lab—but not a country. At SPI talks, I have repeatedly listened to
speakers say that other groups—politicians, economists, social scientists, etc.—don’t know
how to communicate with scientists.
They go on to say the only way for scientists to bridge that divide is to learn the other
language and worldview so as to become a translator. CVD is about scientists learning a
little bit of another worldview, and speaking a little bit of another language.
Hiro Miyake, 4
th
year PhD student, Physics
Our research matters. !Not just for academic purposes, but also for the economic well-
being of society. !That is one thing that I have come to appreciate through CVD; through
discussions among the participants, the science communication workshop at the Union of
Concerned Scientists, talks by Bill Bonvillian, and talking about our research to Senators,
Congressmen, and staffers on Capitol Hill. !As graduate students, we often tend to lose
the big picture and get trapped in our little corner of the universe, whether it's genetics or
materials science. !But by thinking about how to communicate my work to people with
little knowledge of what I do, I am reminded of the wide-ranging implications of our
research work, both technologically as well as societally. CVD is an eye-opening
experience.
David Healey, 1
st
year PhD student, Biology
Tunnel vision comes easily to scientists, I think. !The vast, vast majority of your time is
spent dealing with minute problems with this assay or that reaction. !You forget who is
paying you and what exactly they’re paying you to do. !It's hard to think of your project in
the greater scheme of research, and even harder to think of research itself in the greater
scheme of human activity. !That was the power of CVD for me: in order to connect with
lawmakers and staff I had to step back and ask myself “what exactly am I doing, and why
do people care?” !Who funds my research, and what do they want out of it? !And
whenever I explained the medical goals of my research, they all responded the same. !
“Wow! !I hope that works! !That’s so important! !That’s so fantastic!” !Huh.!!Now that
you mention it, I guess it is.
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Science Policy
Initiative
Jenny Rood, 3
rd
year PhD student, Biology
CVD was a great experience and a unique chance to learn about what really motivates
our elected members of government. !As a scientist who is interested in improving
communication between the scientific community and the general public, I found it really
neat to visit the Capitol with a group of like-minded students. !
Discussing our research with Representatives and staffers was an eye-opening
experience for everybody—staffers learned about our work and in turn we learned about
the kinds of research they were particularly interested in. !I also enjoyed talking to other
groups campaigning on the Hill that day and learning about their causes. !But I definitely
learned the most from the legislative correspondents about the intricacies of lawmaking
and supporting science funding within a difficult political context.
Ross Collins, 1
st
year MS student, Technology and Policy
As a student in the Technology and Policy program at MIT, I’ve developed an
appreciation for the larger social and political implications of scientific pursuits and
technological advances. I very much enjoyed Congressional Visits Day because I got the
opportunity to communicate some of these implications to policy-makers on the hill.
Specifically, we were advocating that current allocations to science and engineering
funding be maintained at 2010 levels. Condensing complex research problems into
manageable sound bytes that Congressmen and staffers could digest was challenging, but
ultimately a great exercise in efficiently communicating the economic worth of scientific
research, a particularly pertinent issue in light of the 2011 proposed budget cuts. And also
the energy on the hill was really fun to be a part of. Walking into and out of various
congressional offices, back and forth across the Senate and House, and witnessing all of
the fast-paced interactions between people was definitely inspiring.
Nicholas Macfarlane,!1
st
year PhD student, MIT/WHOI Program in Biological
Oceanography
The SPI Bootcamp and Congressional Visits Day have been some of the highlights of
my year. !It was an amazing experience to be walking through the Capitol, meeting with
people making decisions at a very real crisis point for this country. !It’s tragic, that funding
for science and innovation seems to have become a partisan issue, and in the context of
slashing budgets, it was essential that policy-makers heard from people who could connect
the dots between money spent on R &D and jobs created. !My favorite meetings were the
more combative ones with tea-party candidates.
CVD was part of a larger delegation of scientists from all over the country, but the
briefings and preparation that we got through SPI and MIT’s Washington, DC office were a
head and shoulders above anything else provided.
I left feeling energized, informed—a little more cynical—and thinking that this was by
far the most important thing I could have been doing.
Jennifer Milne, 1
st
year SM student, Mechanical Engineering
As an International student, CVD was a great opportunity to understand the US
political system and inevitably led me to reflect on policy making in my home country. !I
had previously formed the opinion that policy-makers just were not responding to
proposals from engineering and science intuitions due to a fundamental disconnect
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Science Policy
Initiative
between them. It was reassuring then, to have met with some staffers who were either
very receptive to, or fully aware of, the importance of engineering and science. I got an
insight into the day to day interactions taking place on Capitol Hill and it was humbling
to realize just how reactive politics is, and the overwhelming range of issues constantly on
the table. Contrary to my original stance, I now see that scientists and engineers are also
accountable for this disconnect if they are unwilling to engage in the political issues
affecting them, and continue to poorly communicate the importance of their work outside
of academia.
Christina Silcox, PhD student, Health Sciences and Technology
Preparing for and participating in Congressional Visit Days was fascinating. I’m
interested in both politics and policy development, and meeting Congressional staffers
and hearing their thoughts on how the two were going to be interacting in their
Congressperson’s decisions was eye opening. A couple of meetings were disappointing, as
staffers used basic talking points and didn’t seem to listen to what we were saying. Most
visits were more open and freewheeling, and the best meetings were with staffers who
pushed back on our thoughts and brought up points I hadn’t thought of. All were
educational in valuable ways as even the less successful meetings helped me think about
how to present my thoughts, arguments, and research more clearly and interestingly. Also,
being in the Congressional buildings themselves really gives a sense of perspective. Seeing
the sheer number of people coming to speak with their representatives really brings home
how many balls those representatives have up in the air all the time. We, as scientists, were
not asking for a lot of money, and neither was the next person who was coming in to talk
to them, but it all adds up and figuring out the order of prioritization is extremely
difficult. It’s easy to become cynical about government, but it’s a difficult job. I hope our
information helped make it a little easier.
Nathaniel Schafheimer, 3
rd
year PhD student, Biology
I participated in SPI’s trip to CVD because I wanted to be more aware, as a scientist, of
the way decisions affecting vast swaths of research and grant dollars were made by elected
officials without a formal science background. In this, CVD was enormously instructive.
In Washington, we met with MIT alumni who opened our eyes to the multitude of policy
and consulting related opportunities in government available to applicants with academic
science training. MIT’s Washington, DC office was immensely helpful, giving us a crash
course on translating our personal research experiences into digestible and persuasive
stories for legislative assistants. The main event, a day of meetings with staffers and
members of the House and Senate, was the most educational. Hearing the political
concerns of staffers, the partisan pageantry and careful language that members have to
play with, showed me that for good science policy decisions to be made, it isn't enough to
simply stand on firm scientific ground. To be persuasive and successful, the science must
be understandable and relatable, and must be combined with the appropriate politics, the
right argument for the moment. The understanding I’ve gained from CVD will
undoubtedly be of great value in my future career decisions.
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Summaries of Congressional Meetings
Washington DC, April 7, 2011
[constituent/meeting leader in italics]
Rep.!Mike Honda (CA-D)
9:30 am, Longworth!1713
Staff Contact:! Legislative Director!Eric Werwa, eric.werwa@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Omair Saadat, Bridget Dolan, Alison Hill, Noah Spies
A large meeting with many CVD delegations. Representative Honda expressed his support for science funding.
Rep.!Lynn Jenkins (KS-R)
9:30 am, Longworth!1122
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Megan Taylor. Megan.Taylor@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Nat Twarog, Yiseul Cho, David Healey, Nathaniel Shafheimer, Johanna Wolfson
Ms. Taylor was unable to make a commitment on behalf of the Representative to a position regarding the FY11
budget. She was very interested in the details of our research, but though she agreed that science and technology
were important for growth, she expressed the concern that science funding levels might be at an unsustainable level.
In particular, she said she believed they had remained at an elevated level after the 2008 Recovery Act. We promised
to check this fact (we were fairly certain that the science funding levels returned to their original levels after 2008) and
get back to her with specific numbers.
As of May 17, summaries of the budgets of five major agencies (NIST, NOAA, DOE Office of Science, NSF, and NIH) were compiled,
showing quite clearly that the ARRA had not permanently elevated funding levels. These statistics were sent to Ms. Taylor; she thanked us
for the information, and promised to pass it along to Rep. Jenkins.
Rep.!Barbara Lee (CA-D)
9:30 am, Rayburn!2267
Staff Contact:! Staff Assistant!Mariah Jones, Mariah.Jones@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Rebecca Dell, Michelle Bentivegna, Nicole Casasnovas, Ross Collins, Nicholas Macfarlane
This was a joint meeting with the American Astronomical Society, with 12 people in the meeting. Rep. Lee has a
strong and long-standing commitment to science research and education. Her district includes UC Berkeley, Lawrence
Berkeley National Labs, and several other large research institutions. Our impression is that Rep. Lee fully supports
science, but there are other issues she feels more personally passionate about.!
Followed up by sending a report on UC’s contributions to California’s economy (http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/economy/
techimpacts.html).
Rep.!Ed Markey (MA-D)
10:00 am, Rayburn!2108
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Will Spring, AAAS Fellow!Ilya Fischhoff, ilya.fischhoff@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Bridget Dolan, Rebecca Dell, David Healey, Allison Hill, Jenny Rood
Meeting also included Bill Bonvillian and MIT Washington Office intern Brandon. SPI always receives a warm
reception from Congressman Markey’s office. The Congressman was a co-sponsor of America COMPETES
Reauthorization Act of 2010. Ilya and Will gave us a full 30 minute meeting, and each of us had the chance to tell
our stories. They were quite engaged. In particular, Ilya asked Alison questions about statistics on illnesses (i.e.
hospitalizations, costs, deaths) related to drug resistance. It would be easy for us to form a relationship with this office,
however since we tend to meet with the AAAS Fellow, he/she changes every year.
Rep.!John Kline (MN-R)
10:00 am, Rayburn!2439
Staff Contact:! Committee on Education and the Workforce Senior Advisor!Amy Jones,
Amy.jones@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Mike Henninger, Yiseul Cho, Nathaniel Schafheimer, Christina Silcox
Reception was quite cool but polite. Ms. Jones did not express interest or perk up at anything: data on economic
activity from research at MN universities, entrepreneurship from university system, support from chamber of
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commerce, our research stories, etc. Rep. Kline is chairman of Education and Workforce, yet Ms. Jones seemed
strictly interested in undergrad higher education, nothing about research (and hence nothing about postgraduate
education). Might be an opportunity to broaden interest there, but it will be tough going. When asked about his
COMPETES no vote, Amy said something vague about too many government programs already and let’s fix what
we’ve got before making new ones.
Rep.!Patrick J. Tiberi (OH-R)
10:00 am, Cannon!106
Staff Contact:! Senior Legislative Assistant!Andy Hardy, andy.hardy@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Hiro Miyake, Ross Collins, Noah Spies
The meeting was friendly and cordial. Mr. Hardy gave no specific commitment on science funding for FY2011 or
FY2012. He acknowledged importance of research funding to the local economy through Ohio State University.
Sen.!Pat Roberts (KS-R)
10:30 am, Hart!109
Staff Contact:! Legislative Director!Amber Sechrist, !joshua_yurek@roberts.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Nat Twarog, Scott Carlson, Nicholas Macfarlane, Jennifer Milne
Ms. Sechrist pointed out that there was little that could be done about the FY11 budget, as the Senator was not in the
current debate about that budget. She also pointed out that while science funding is clearly important, the current
fiscal crisis would require difficult choices across the board. However, she pointed out that the Senator understands
that the cuts should not come at the expense of long-term growth. We agreed to get back in contact with the
Senator’s office during the FY12 budget debate to discuss the treatment of science funding in that budget.
Basic followup has been done. Current plan is to make contact one the lines are drawn for the 2012 budget negotiations.
Sen.!Ron Johnson (WI-R)
10:30 am, Russell!SRC2 courtyard
Staff Contact:! Legislative Correspondent!Kim Ekmark, kim_ekmark@ronjohnson.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Johanna Wolfson, Michelle Bentivegna, Nicole Casasnovas
Ms. Ekmark did not seem receptive to the message or particularly interested in the issue at hand, nor in the science
research we described. She talked about how all options were on the table for budget cuts and mentioned that the
Senator was elected on a promise of budget cuts. She did not commit on a recommendation to the Senator. Sen.
Johnson owns a large plastics company in WI, so he may be receptive to messages about innovation and requests for
R&D funding from businesses, but the staffer was not.!
Rep.!Jared Polis (CO-D)
11:00 am, Cannon!501
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Shawn Coleman. Contact: Rosalyn.Kumar@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Jenny Rood, Mike Henninger, Omair Saddat, Nathaniel Schafheimer, Noah Spies
He was clearly very supportive of science but felt frustrated by partisan politics, saying things like “there isn’t a crisis,
and obviously cutting science funding won’t help this perceived crisis. This is a blatant attack on science.” While we
tended to agree, it seemed like this line of argument wasn’t going to make headway in convincing people who weren’t
already convinced. He did ask for follow-up information on the effect of medical marijuana on reducing tumor
burden, but I think that was more of a personal interest than something that would help the Representative
(particularly given that the legislative assistant we spoke to is now gone).
Mr. Coleman no longer works in the office, having left the day after our meeting.
The office is clearly on our side; while we did not get a direct commitment from Mr. Coleman, I am not sure SPI or the MIT office need to
step in here.
Rep.!Stephen Lynch (MA-D)
11:00 am, Rayburn!2348
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Mariana Osorio, !mariana.orsorio@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Bridget Dolan, Yiseul Cho, Ross Collins, Alison Hill, Hiro Miyake, Christina Silcox
The meeting also included Bill Bonvillian and MIT Washington Office intern Brandon. Ms. Osorio has been with
Congressman Lynch for 3 years and is his Legislative Assistant for Foreign Affairs, Defense, Immigration, Military
Affairs and Science & Technology. We also visited with her in 2010. Mariana is an attentive listener, asks smarts
questions about science, and takes notes. She asked that we alert her to any “Dear Colleague” letters in support of
science funding. While this is not an area where SPI can help, this has been brought to the attention of Bill and
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Amanda, as they are occasionally involved in drafting letters or raising support. While Congressman Lynch did vote
for the 2010 reauthorization of America COMPETES, he was not one of the 101 Members to co-sponsor it.
Rep.!Reid Ribble (WI-R)
11:30 am, Longworth!1513
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Christy Paavola, christy.paavola@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Johanna Wolfson, Nathaniel Schafheimer, Nat Twarog
Ms. Paavola was interested in our message and in the research stories we provided. She understood the emphasis we
placed on prioritization and said Ribble wanted to be careful about what to cut to avoid moves counterproductive to
growth. She did not commit to a recommendation to the Congressman, but it would be worth following up to offer
more information and to learn Ribble’s position.!
Rep.!Mike Capuano (MA-D)
11:30 am, Longworth!1414
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Christina Tsafoulias, christina.tsafoulias@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Mike Henninger, Yiseul Cho, Ross Collins, Hiro Miyake, Omair Saddat
It was a very friendly and agreeable meeting, as always. Capuano’s office maintains close contact with MIT in any
case, so this was a chance to chat about our research and personalize the effects of federal funding of science. An
open invitation to bring any of our concerns to his office was expressed.
Sen.!Lieberman (CT-I)
11:30 am, Hart!706
Staff Contact:! Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator fellow!Staci Richard, !staci_richard@lieberman.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Michelle Bentivegna, Scott Carlson, Nicole Casasnovas, Ross Collins, Nicholas Macfarlane, Jennifer Milne
Ms. Richard confirmed that Lieberman is behind us on the science policy issue, and will do everything he can to
avoid cuts to science research and fund the COMPETES act. She is a good person to know.!
Rep.!Frank Giunta (NH-R)
11:30 am, Longworth!1223
Staff Contact:! Legislative Correspondent!Kory Wood, kory.wood@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Rebecca Dell, Bridget Dolan, Alison Hill, Christina Silcox
Though he covered areas related to science for Rep. Guinta, Mr. Wood was unfamiliar with the COMPETES Act. We
discussed the major terms of the COMPETES Act, but Mr. Wood was unable to give us Rep. Guinta’s position on it.
Mr. Wood was generally very receptive to the idea of federally supported scientific research and post-secondary
education, and was interested in the UNH report we provided, but it seemed like Rep. Guinta’s office was still getting
up to speed on these issues. There may be an opportunity to make some progress with this office, as NH gets a lot of
federal research dollars and they do not yet have a fixed opinion.!
Sen.!Jack Reed (RI-D)
12:30 pm, Hart!728
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Kelly Knutsenk, kelly_Knutsen@reed.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Bridget Dolan, Alison Hill, Nicholas Macfarlane, Hiro Miyake, Jennifer Milne, Omair Saddat
Dr. Knutsen received his PhD in Chemistry from Berkeley in 2005, served as a AAAS Congressional Fellow for a
Colorado Senator Mark Udall (D), and worked in Colorado for a nonprofit energy efficiency and policy group. SPI
heard Kelly speak on a panel during the Feb 2011 AAAS meeting. Kelly and Senator Reed are supportive of science
research and education. The RI economy is in need of a jump-start. Due to the large medical community located in
the state, there has been a push for the start of a biotech sector in recent years. We will follow up with contact info for
the MIT Technology Licensing Office to help with technology transfer.
A week prior, Bridget met Amy Carroll, Director of Government Relations and Community Affairs at Brown, former AAAS fellow with 8
years of Capitol Hill experience (Amy_Carroll@brown.edu). She may also be able to work with Senator Reed’s office to encourage
economic growth through innovation in RI.
Sen.!John Ensign (NV-R)
12:30 pm, Russell!119
Staff Contact:! Legislative Aide!Ruth Demeter, Ruth_Demeter@ensign.senate.gov
From SPI:!!David Healey, Michelle Bentivegna, Scott Carlson, Yiseul Cho, Noah Spies, Johanna Wolfson
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Ms. Demeter responded well to the push for more science funding. She committed to being a voice to support science
funding to the Senator, but was unable to commit his vote on the funding levels requested. Of the Republicans that I
(Dave) talked to, this office was one of the more supportive, and, I think, a good place for MIT’s office to follow up.
As of May 3, John Ensign resigned from office and is no longer a member of the Senate; clearly no follow-up is required.
Rep.!Robert Hurt (VA-R)
12:30, Longworth!1516
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Kelly Simpson, !kelly.simpson@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Ross Collins, Christina Silcox
Kelly did not offer a clear commitment to maintaining America COMPETES funding at 2010 levels. Thus, we could
not obtain specifics on how Hurt would vote. However, Kelly did emphasize that Hurt is an analytical guy who
understands the importance of science and engineering to the U.S. economy. Kelly also emphasized the importance
of including engineering in the discussion on science funding. Kelly was very happy to receive Virginia-specific
information; he said that kind of information makes it much easier on the staff. I think it would make sense to
provide additional Virginia-specific information on how science and engineering funding impact local startups and
innovation; I told Kelly to contact us if he had specific requests, though we did not pledge to follow up with anything
specific at the moment. A continued focus on university research is important since the University of Virginia is in
Hurt's district.
Ross followed up with extensive economic impact information including UVA and city of Charlotte. Additional follow-up should occur once
2012 budget negotiations are underway.
Rep.!Rob Wittman (VA-R)
1:00 pm, Longworth!1317
Staff Contact:! Senior Legislative Assistant!Brent Robinson, brent.robinson@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Christina Silcox, Rebecca Dell, Mike Henninger, Jenny Rood, Nat Twarog
Mr. Robinson said that they really had nothing to do with the FY11 negotiations at that point. Staffer said we were
“preaching to the choir” about the importance of science but the Congressman thinks reducing the deficit is very
important. Wouldn’t commit to COMPETES Act. Voted against it in Dec, but there was intimation that was more due
to politics than ideology. Staffer seemed pretty familiar with the figures we were giving him. He was friendly but
didn’t seem super interested. Rep. Wittman has a PhD in Public Policy and it seems he’s proud to be one of the few
in Congress with one. Rep. Wittman is also very interested in science, especially marine biology (has BS in biology).
Rep has particular interest in minority STEM education. Extra information involving those two things might be
useful.
The Wittman (VA-1) meeting was one of the most interesting we’ve had. Wittman is a PhD in social science, but he
worked on marine biology/human health/ecology in VA for >20 years, and did his undergrad in biology. His aide
(Brent Robinson, senior LA) was great, too. He really gave the impression that he appreciated how important science
funding was in a broader sense; realized NIH funding helps all the vets—both young with TBI and old with
Parkinson's disease. This office stood out as one that wants to get it right. As mentioned, the no vote on COMPETES
was made to sound like a political call not a reflection of real beliefs (but who knows; Brent knew who he was talking
to). So, I [Mike H.] think this office would actually appreciate good info on science and perhaps also info that helps
give them political cover. Wittman is an area where there might actually be potential to make an appreciable
difference with follow-up from the MIT office or SPI.
Sen.!Mike Lee (UT-R)
1:30 pm, Hart!316
From SPI:!!Dave Healey
Staffer was not very supportive of science funding. Repeatedly he emphasized that it was our job to cut down federal
government spending. When asked to at least hold research funding as a priority, he just responded “we have to make
cuts across the board. No one is exempt.” He agreed that science funding was important to economic growth, but is
of the opinion that “the states should have that responsibility, under the constitution.” The one thing I [Dave] did not
do, which I should have done, was offer MIT’s services for advisement. He did not appear to have ever heard of the
America COMPETES Act. Probably the most antagonistic to the idea of science funding of everyone I met with. No
plans for followup.
Sen.!Jim Webb (VA-D)
1:30 pm, Russell!248
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Ali Nouri, ali_nouri@webb.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Ross Collins, Michelle Bentivegna, Nicole Casasnovas, Alison Hill, Nicholas Macfarlane, Johanna Wolfson
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Ali could not offer a firm commitment that Webb would absolutely maintain America COMPETES science funding at
2010 levels. He echoed that unfortunately every budget item is on the chopping block, even though he and Senator
Webb recognize that science and engineering funding is the key to innovation and economic growth. As a former
molecular biologist, Ali was definitely very receptive and supportive of our message, but it was also clear that he'd
been around on the Hill long enough to know that certain people cannot be swayed, and that certain things are done
in Washington simply for political (as opposed to policy) gain. He did not ask for any follow-up material, but
encouraged us to focus our efforts on the House, since they are the particularly resistant group in Congress right now
given all the freshman congressmen. I think we should continue to stay in touch with Webb's office, but he definitely
seems on board.
Sen.!Orrin Hatch (UT-R)
2:00 pm, Hart!104
Staff Contact:! Hayden Rhudy, Hayden_Rhudy@hatch.senate.gov
From SPI:!!David Healey, Scott Carlson, Yiseul Cho, Nicholas Macfarlane, Nathaniel Schafheimer
Ms. Rhudy had not been present for the earlier meeting with Susan Hockfield, the Senator, and his staff. She was
pretty antagonistic—she kept bringing the conversation back to perceived wasteful and political spending in the NIH.
She seemed caught up with the impression that the NIH funds a lot of stupid research, which needs to be stopped,
specifically mentioned a project where millions of dollars were spent to see if aging people should exercise. She
seemed almost combative, but did admit that our specific projects seemed really important. Recommendation: do not
follow up with her. Use the MIT office’s contacts with the senator himself and his other staff.!
Sen.!Jeanne Shaheen (NH-D)
2:00 pm, Hart!520
Staff Contact:! AAAS Fellow!Chris Spitzer, !Chris_spitzer@shaheen.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Rebecca Dell, Mike Henninger, Jennifer Milne, Jennifer Rood, Noah Spies
We covered similar ground here to at all the other meetings: the importance of support for science and technology
research and education. As a AAAS fellow, Dr. Spitzer was extremely supportive of the general message, though it
was unclear how influential he is within Shaheen’s office. Sen. Shaheen has not committed to full funding of
COMPETES. He took a lot of notes during the meeting, but he didn’t request any specific follow-up material. He
thanked us for providing the economic impact report from UNH.
Sen.!Dianne Feinstein (CA-D)
2:30 pm, Hart!331
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Christine Epres, Legislative Fellow!Adam Christensen.
christine_epres@feinstein.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Omair Saddat, Jenny Rood, Nathaniel Schafheimer, Nat Twarog
The meeting was very positive; Ms. Epres made it clear that Senator Feinstein very much agreed about the
importance of science funding, also making a point to mention that the Senator had recently helped clear funding for
breast cancer research. She also agreed that scientific and technological innovation are particularly important for
California, a state with numerous research universities and technology based firms and startups. As many did that
day, she told us that the Senator had very little control over the FY11 budget decision, but agreed that science
funding should remain a high priority in future budget decisions. Both she and Mr. Christensen seemed very
interested in the research we described.
We made particular mention of the importance of the ARPA-E program and the precarious funding position in
which it found itself.
Rep.!Jim Himes (CT-D)
2:30 pm, Cannon!119
Staff Contact:! Caitlin Donahue, caitlin.donahue@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Michelle Bentivegna, Alison Hill
We were supposed to meet with a staffer named Brian Kelly, but ended up meeting with another staffer who walked
us over to the Capitol to meet with Himes in between votes. Himes met with us in a room off the House floor. The
room was very crowded, and it was hard to hear, but he confirmed he is devoted to science research and COMPETES
and that he understands the economic importance of science research.
Sen.!Rob Portman (OH-R)
2:30 pm, Dirksen!SD-B40D
Staff Contact:! Legislative Correspondent!Krista Lambo, !krista_lambo@portman.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Hiro Miyake, Scott Carlson, Nicole Casasnovas, Christina Silcox
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Meeting was friendly and cordial. No specific commitment on science funding for FY2011 and FY2012.
Acknowledged importance of federal funding for scientific research. Senator has extensive experience in the federal
government as US trade representative from 2005 – 2006 and director of Office of Management and Budget from
2006 – 2007. But as a freshman senator, there may be room for people, including us, to shape the attitude of his
office towards federal support for scientific research.
Should follow up with Sen. Portman's office about 2012 budget
Sen.!John Kerry (MA-D)
3:00 pm, Russell!218
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Jeremy Brandon, jeremy_brandon@kerry.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Nathaniel Schafheimer, Nicole Casasnovas, Mike Henninger, Nicholas Macfarlane, Hiro Miyake, Christina
Silcox, Johanna Wolfson
This meeting also included Abby Benson from the MIT Washington DC Office. Part of Mr. Brandon's
responsibilities include science policy. He indicated that he, and the Senator, were on board with the idea that science
funding is key to continued economic growth, and that he would vote with that in mind. Mr. Brandon did caution us
that, in the political game of the budget, no issue was a done deal, and that a vote against science funding at
COMPETES levels wouldn’t necessarily indicate the Senator having an issue with science funding, but that political
necessity demanded it. But he seemed very interested and impressed in our research stories and would love to get
more stories/examples from us at a later date.
He pointed out that we sometimes hear things before they do (about policy or governmental workings affecting
science), and we should not hesitate to drop him a heads-up.
Sen.!Mark Udall (CO-D)
3:00 pm, Hart!328
Staff Contact:! Legislative Correspondent!Dan Fenn, dan_fenn@markudall.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Jenny Rood, Scott Carlson, Omair Saddat, Nat Twarog
Mr. Fenn, who works on energy and resources, was very receptive to our message, as the Senator already supports
science; he was knowledgeable about programs such as ARPA-E. He also enjoyed listening to our research stories. He
was non-committal about our ask, largely due to the uncertainties in the budget at that point in time, but I definitely
think that he and the rest of the office would be worth following up with and maintaining contact with. Sen. Udall
has good reason to support science, since a lot of federally-funded institutions doing work on biotech, aerospace and
renewable energy research are located in Colorado.
Rep.!Jim Langevin (RI-D)
2:45 pm, Cannon!109
Staff Contact:! Legislative Correspondent!Christian Richards, !christian.richards@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Bridget Dolan, Ross Collins
SPI also met with Christian, a native of North Kingstown RI, last year. He follows the Red Sox and is taking night
classes. Congressman Langevin has always been supportive of science funding and will continue to be in the future.
He was a co-sponsor of the reauthorization act of 2010. Because he is such a strong supporter of science, we should
have a higher level ask in the future. Something like: Can you talk to Republican Congressman XX and encourage
him to change his vote in favor of funding education and research? Bridget mentioned that with the expansion of the
medical school at Brown, this would be a good opportunity for RI to improve its tech transfer to promote start-ups in
RI.
Since MIT is a leader at technology transfer, we can follow-up with the contact info for Lita Nelsen, Director of the MIT Technology
Licensing Office.
Sen.!Scott Brown (MA-R)
2:45 pm, Dirksen!359
Staff Contact:! Legislative Counsel!Jeffrey Farrah, !Jeffrey_Farrah@scottbrown.senate.gov
From SPI:!!David Healey, Yiseul Cho, Rebecca Dell, Mike Henninger, Nicholas Macfarlane, Jennifer Milne, Noah
Spies, Johanna Wolfson
This meeting also included Bill Bonvillian from the MIT Washington DC office. Jeffrey heard and understood our
message of federal support of R&D leading to economic growth. He would not commit on behalf of the Senator,
and emphasized the need to have all options on the table when talking about budget cuts. Mr. Farrah was very
distracted and disinterested during the meeting and we might recommend meeting with another staffer in the future.
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The Senator made a brief appearance during the meeting. He responded to our ask with an understanding of the
value of R&D for innovation and the need to do budget-cutting carefully.
Rep.!John Olver (MA-D)
4:00 pm, Longworth!1111
Staff Contact:! Legislative Assistant!Emily Gouillart, emily.gouillart@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!Johanna Wolfson, Michelle Bentivegna, Bridget Dolan, Alison Hill, Nicholas Macfarlane, Hiro Miyake,
Jenny Rood
We thanked Rep. Olver for his COMPETES support and shared our research stories with him. Olver remarked that we
should be focusing our efforts on the Republican side. When we shared with him what arguments we thought were
most compelling to that party (big businesses asking for fed. basic science report), the Congressman mentioned that
those businesses are not lobbying Congress for funding of basic science. Rep. Olver’s staffer Emily committed on his
behalf to our request for protecting R&D levels and funding COMPETES. We received a non-committal answer to our
request for him to lean on colleagues. Follow-up to request that the Congressman seek support from colleagues would
be valuable.
Sen.!Kelly Ayotte (NH-R)
4:15 pm, Russell!188
Staff Contact:! Legislative Correspondent!Daniel Auger, daniel_auger@ayotte.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Rebecca Dell, Nicole Casasnovas, Nathaniel Schafheimer
Similar to the meeting with Rep. Guinta’s office, Sen. Ayotte’s office still seemed to be getting up to speed on science/
technology issues. She is a freshman senator. Mr. Auger was receptive to our message of support for science and
technology research and education (and he took a lot of notes), but wasn’t particularly familiar with COMPETES, so
we went over some of its major terms. He was not able to give us a firm position on funding the act, and reiterated
Sen. Ayotte’s position as a ‘deficit hawk’. He also reiterated her commitment to primary and secondary education,
and we encouraged him to consider post-secondary education in a similar spirit—providing a skilled workforce and
opportunities for economic development. There may be an opportunity with Sen. Ayotte, because NH receives a lot of
federal research dollars and she doesn’t yet have a firm position.!
Sen.!Jerry Moran (KS-R)
4:00 pm, Russell!CY4
Staff Contact:! Legislative Aide!Andrew Logan, !andrew_logan@moran.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Nat Twarog, Yiseul Cho, Mike Henninger, Jennifer Milne
Mr. Logan was very interested in the descriptions of our research, their applications, and the importance of federal
funding to them; he was also very receptive to our points on the economic importance of science funding, and
pointed out that Senator Moran was very much aware of the power of investment in science, particularly to a state
like Kansas, where science and technology must play a key role in economic growth and development. He pointed
out that there was little that could be done about the FY11 budget, as the senator was not in the current debate about
that budget. Still, we agreed to get back in contact with the senator’s office during the FY12 budget debate to discuss
the treatment of science funding in that budget.
Rep.!Jason Chaffetz (UT-R)
4:00 pm, Longworth!1032
Staff Contact:! Legislative Director!Mike Jerman, Mike.Jerman@mail.house.gov
From SPI:!!David Healey, Scott Carlson, Noah Spies
We built what seemed a great relationship of trust at the beginning by chatting about home. He was very friendly.
Even though they’re pretty staunch fiscal conservatives, Mike Jerman is an excellent contact in the office because he
used to work in the tech sector—he could not agree more that tech research needs to be favored to grow the
economy, though he admitted that cuts at this point were probably inevitable. His approach to working with us at this
point was: assuming that you will have to face some cuts (just because it’s hard times), he would like to have
information on prioritizing the budgets. His unfortunately-worded question specifically was: If you absolutely had to
cut funding for one of your groups or projects, which would you cut? We reworded it into a positive and told him that
SPI or the MIT office would get back to him with what the science community would consider the most urgent
priorities based on potential for economic growth. That should be followed up with.
Could the MIT office get a hold of some opinions along those lines? Anything at this point would at least cement that
relationship and maybe help us become his go-to people for advice on science policy. Dave made arrangements to
stop by and follow up with him personally when back in Provo in August. I think there’s great potential for a working
relationship with Mike Jerman, and, through him, Jason Chaffetz (who is on the budget committee).!
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Sen.!Mark Warner (VA-D)
4:00 pm, Russell!459A
Staff Contact:! Legislative Correspondent!Auguste Humphries, auguste_humphries@warner.senate.gov
From SPI:!!Christina Silcox, Ross Collins, Omair Saddat
Sen Warner was involved in writing the COMPETES Act, so is supportive of it and will continue to be. Staffer seemed
very interested in our research, writing down several notes. Asked for information to be sent to him about the number
of start-ups research from ARPA-E has created thus far.!
Christina followed-up with details about private investment coming out of government investments in ARPA-E.
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This document and the enclosed materials were prepared by:
Johanna Wolfson
Scott Carlson
Noah Spies
Nathaniel Schafheimer
Rebecca Walsh Dell
Alison Hill
Nat Twarog
All CVD participants contributed to the meeting preparation
materials and the meeting notes:
Nicholas Macfarlane
Christina Silcox
Scott Carlson
Johanna Wolfson
Ross Collins
Hiro Miyake
Steven Schafheimer
Jennifer Milne
Jenny Rood
David Healey
Yiseul Cho
Bridget Dolan
Nicole Casasnovas
Omair Saadat
Rebecca Dell
Noah Spies
Mike Henninger
Nathaniel Twarog
Alison Hill
Michelle Bentivenga
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! "#$%&'(%#)*+,-'

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