Press Release

Illinois Representatives Support Call for Strengthening Partnerships Among National Labs, Industry & Academia


American Academy of Arts & Sciences leads discussion on “Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream”

CHICAGO, IL | NOVEMBER 7, 2014 – The connection between investment in basic research, the trajectory of American innovation, and the continued ability of the average American to achieve the dream of upward mobility and economic security, was “Topic A” yesterday at a discussion convened by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Two members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, representatives from two national research laboratories, as well as representatives of the American Academy’s Committee on New Models for U.S. Science and Technology Policy discussed, at length, the need to support the panel’s recently released report: Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream.

On hand at the University of Chicago’s International House Thursday afternoon were:

  • U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14)
  • U.S. Representative Bill Foster (IL-11)
  • Peter Littlewood, Director, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Timothy Meyer, COO, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Neal Lane, Rice University; Co-chair of the American Academy Committee on New Models for U.S. Science and Technology Policy
  • Jonathan Fanton, President, American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Recent data show that the United States has slipped to tenth place among OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations in overall research and development investment as a percentage of GDP. As we lose our global competitive edge, many other nations are increasing their research investments in order to stimulate economic growth.

America’s economic ascendency in the twentieth century was due in large part–perhaps even primarily–to its investments in science and engineering research. Basic research lies behind every new product brought to market, every new medical device or drug, every new defense and space technology, and many innovative business practices. To match the increasing pace of technological advancement across the globe, the United States must accelerate both the discovery of new scientific knowledge and the translation of that knowledge to useful purpose. Failure to act now could threaten the very principles–opportunity, social mobility, innovation–that have inspired our nation for the past century.


About The American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Since its founding in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has served the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue, and useful knowledge. As one of the nation’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, the Academy convenes leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to address critical challenges facing our global society. Through studies, publications, and programs on Science, Engineering, and Technology; Global Security and Energy; the Humanities, Arts, and Education; and American Institutions and the Public Good, the Academy provides authoritative and nonpartisan policy advice to decision-makers in government, academia, and the private sector. Follow the American Academy on Facebook at and on Twitter @americanacad