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Public Affairs

BPS-sponsored Golden Goose

Award For Work that Led to

Breakthrough Pest Control


Edward F. Knipling


Raymond C. Bushland


two United States Department of Agriculture

entomologists, are being posthumously honored

with the Golden Goose Award for their study of

the Sex Life of the Screwworm Fly.

Knipling and Bushland are being honored for

research that led to the “sterile insect technique,”

in which lab-raised and sterilized male insects are

used to overwhelm and eventually eradicate native

pest populations. The technique has been herald-

ed as “the only truly original innovation in insect

control in [the 20th] century,” and continues to

inform ongoing fights against other agricultural

pests and insects carrying infectious pathogens,

including the tsetse fly and the Aedes aegypti

mosquito — the primary culprit in transmission

of the Zika virus.

The Golden Goose Award honors scientists

whose federally funded work may have seemed

odd or obscure when it was first conducted but

has resulted in significant benefits to society. The

Biophysical Society is a sponsor of the award.

Knipling and Bushland, along with two other

teams of researchers, will be honored at the fifth

annual Golden Goose Award ceremony at the

Library of Congress on September 22.

American Innovation

and Competitiveness Act


In late June, the Senate Commerce Committee

approved the American Innovation and Com-

petitiveness Act, which would reauthorize the

National Science Foundation (NSF) and National

Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST)

and the White House Office of Science Technol-

ogy through 2018. The bill is an updated version

of the 2010 America COMPETES Act.

The bill, S. 3084, was introduced by Senators

Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI),

leaders of the Commerce Committee’s innova-

tion and competitiveness working group on

federal science and technology research policies,

along with Senators John Thune (R-SD) and

Bill Nelson (D-FL.) who serve respectively as the

chair and ranking member of the Senate Commit-

tee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

The bipartisan bill reaffirms the NSF merit-based

peer-review process for determining grants, codi-

fies reforms to increase transparency and account-

ability in the grant-making process, and includes

measures to reduce regulatory burdens on feder-

ally funded researchers. An amendment approved

during the bill’s consideration allows for 4 percent

growth in the budget per year at NSF and NIST

in FY 2018, based on what the Senate has pro-

posed for these agencies for FY 2017.

The Biophysical Society, through its membership

in the Coalition for National Science Funding,

thanked the committee for its work on the bill,

and particularly for its support of science and

the authorized increase, but also encouraged the

committee to lengthen the funding authorization

beyond 2018.

The bill’s chances of becoming law are not par-

ticularly good; there is very little time left on the

Senate schedule for its consideration. Even if it

does not make it to the Senate floor, the bill is

significant because it will serve as a marker for the

next Congress’s starting point.