The Golden Goose Award: Highlighting the Value of Federal Support for Basic Research

Saturday, 15 February 2014: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Grand Ballroom B (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Federally funded scientific research has increasingly become the subject of scrutiny by politicians and the press. Misunderstood or “silly sounding” research, while an easy target for those looking to trim budgets, is often much more than it seems. The Golden Goose Award recognizes and celebrates the work of scientists whose federally sponsored research could have easily been targeted by politicians as odd, obscure or wasteful at the time it was first funded, but which ultimately resulted in advances that have had significant impact on society. The inaugural year of the award led to three teams of winners across a spectrum of scientific fields. All represented research that could have been deemed unnecessary or without value at the outset, and yet the results of their research led to the creation of the laser; green fluorescent proteins used daily in the biomedical field to isolate disease; and coralline ceramics, which resulted in limb-saving bone grafts. The Golden Goose Award honors these individuals and, in the years to come, other researchers in the United States who have used federal funded research grants to make an invaluable difference to the nation and to our society. This session focuses on the motivation behind the Golden Goose Award, the work of past award winners, the importance of federal funding for basic research, and often unexpected and unpredictable outcomes.
Tobin L. Smith, Association of American Universities
Julia Smith, Association of American Universities
and Jennifer Poulakidas, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Joanne P. Carney, AAAS Office of Government Relations
Randy Hultgren, U.S. House of Representatives
Martin Chalfie, Columbia University
How GFP, A Jellyfish Protein, Lit Up Biology
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