Scientists, Engineers Sound Off on March for Science

Article ID: 673443

Released: 21-Apr-2017 3:05 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: Northwestern University

Expert Pitch

Samuel Stupp, who will be marching in Chicago with approximately 40 of his students, is an expert in the development of new materials for advanced medicine and sustainable energy sources. He is director of the Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology.

“Innovation achieved through scientific research is the only true pathway to build robust economies, raise quality of life and solve the most serious problems faced by humanity,” Stupp said.

Stupp is Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine and Biomedical Engineering. He can be reached at s-stupp@northwestern.edu, 312-503-0807 or 847-491-3002.

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David Dana, who will be marching in Chicago, is a leading scholar in the fields of environmental law, property, land use and professional responsibility. He teaches and writes about environmental policy and climate change, with a focus on how the law can grapple with uncertainties and new technologies.

“Cutting federal support for climate and other environmental research will leave us unprepared for the future and cost billions in dollars as well as incalculable human welfare,” Dana said. “Only the federal government -- not the states, not the private sector -- has the incentives and capacity to do the research we need.”

Dana is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law and associate dean for faculty affairs at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. He can be reached at 224-307-0216 or d-dana@law.northwestern.edu.

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Sir Fraser Stoddart, recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has been involved in fundamental scientific research for more than half a century and counts himself as “extremely fortunate, having been well funded all this time.” Stoddart and two others received the Nobel prize for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.

“Those societies that invest in fundamental thinking and research do exceptionally well, not just in the short term but for a long period in history,” Stoddart said. “It may well take a few decades for the applications [of molecular machines] to become evident and to become incredibly important for humankind, but I’m very confident this will happen.”

Stoddart, a native of Scotland, has worked at six universities in three countries and mentored more than 400 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from 43 countries. He can discuss why open borders are essential to science and discovery.

Stoddart is Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at 847-491-3793 or stoddart@northwestern.edu. (Stoddart is not able to march, due to other commitments.)

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Teresa Woodruff is an internationally known scientist in fertility research and director of the Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She advocates for change at the institutional, state and federal levels to support sex- and gender-based medicine, women’s health research and reproductive science to improve care for all patients.

“A healthy population requires scientific advances that meet their needs in a global and industrialized environment,” Woodruff said. “The National Institutes of Health is this nation’s best idea. It ensures we know more, understand better, treat faster and keep our population healthy and productive.”

Woodruff also is the Thomas J. Watkins Memorial Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and chief of the division of reproductive science in medicine at Feinberg. She can be reached at tkw@northwestern.edu. (Woodruff is not able to march, due to other commitments.)

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Chad Mirkin is a key force behind Northwestern’s position as a world leader in nanoscience. He is the inventor of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) and develops therapeutics and biological and chemical diagnostic systems based upon them.

“Much of what we enjoy in the U.S. is a result of our scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs keeping us at the forefront of technological revolutions,” Mirkin said. “All of this has been a consequence of having the best basic science operation on the planet -- one that trains future scientists and engineers, one that leads to life-changing inventions, and one that answers fundamental questions about how the world around us works. To cut that operation would be tantamount to a self-inflicted wound. As we strive to be more competitive globally, we should be doubling down, not cutting.”

Mirkin is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in Weinberg College and director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology. He can be reached at chadnano@northwestern.edu. (Mirkin is not able to march, due to other commitments.)

Kimberly Gray is an expert in nanotechnology for energy and environmental applications and sustainable urban design.

“The health of the U.S. economy and the creation of jobs are closely tied to federal support of scientific and engineering research and teaching,” she said. “To divert federal funding from supporting the search for solutions to the country’s most pressing problems -- solutions rooted in scientific understanding -- to defense and military spending is to undermine the path to security and prosperity in this country and the world.”

Gray is professor of civil and environmental engineering and chair of the department in the McCormick School of Engineering. She can be reached at k-gray@northwestern.edu. (Gray is not able to march, due to other commitments.)


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