In early July, I had the privilege of joining Society of Toxicology (SOT) President Norbert E. Kaminski, SOT Executive Director Shawn D. Lamb, and SOT Communications Manager Michelle Werts in Washington, DC, to present Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) with the 2014 SOT Congressional Science Leadership Award. (Pictured from left to right are Ms. Lamb, Dr. Kaminski, Senator Udall, and Dr. Corcoran.)
Each year, the Society bestows its Congressional Science Leadership Award on US senators and representatives who embody one or more of the following:
- A leader who has consistently pursued public policy or decision making relating to health and safety that is based upon sound scientific principles.
- A leader who has demonstrated dedication to advancing legislation for the protection of human, animal, and/or environmental health that is based upon sound scientific principles.
- A leader who clearly recognizes and supports scientific research to increase knowledge and advance protection of human, animal, and/or environmental health.
Senator Udall is an uncommon leader who is exceptional in all of these areas. The senator is championing Toxic Substances Control Act reform, working across the aisle to draft legislation that will strengthen chemical research, regulations, and information. Throughout his career, he has been a strong supporter of public health initiatives and has been a consistent advocate for environmental protection through votes to protect ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and to expand funding for mitigating climate change.
As a proud former New Mexican, I am pleased that such a strong supporter of science, public health, and the environment is representing the Land of Enchantment. Senator Udall is a shining example of scientific integrity and, simply stated, a role model. In my view, there is no one who is more qualified or deserving of this award.