Eleven members of the National Academy of Sciences, six of them Nobel Laureates, met yesterday with several U.S. senators on Capitol Hill to discuss the latest scientific and medical advances that are based on an increasingly deeper understanding of the human genome. The meeting was the first in what is expected to be a series of forums intended to facilitate a dialogue among leading researchers and members of Congress on cutting-edge science, technology, and medicine.
"We were very pleased to receive this invitation to discuss such important scientific topics with members of the U.S. Senate," said National Academy of Sciences President Ralph J. Cicerone. "We also were pleased that so many world-renowned researchers were able to attend and describe firsthand the significance of the latest discoveries in their fields.
"Although we regularly advise Congress through our committee reports, this is an opportunity to bring researchers and senators together in person to engage in dialogue on topics that are of the utmost importance to our nation," Cicerone added. "It was a thorough and thoughtful discussion."
The forum was the brainchild of Senators Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, who worked with Cicerone and National Academy of Engineering President Charles M. Vest to organize yesterday's meeting and lay the groundwork for future forums.