Senator Durbin Meets with Fermi Director to Discuss Support for National Labs and Funding for Scientific Research

WASHINGTON, DC–(ENEWSPF)–September 24, 2013.  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with the new Director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Dr. Nigel Lockyer to discuss the importance of continued federal funding for scientific research and development programs.

“Research and innovation are a fundamental part of the basic infrastructure that builds this country,” said Durbin. “It is critical that we maintain our commitment to the scientific research taking place at our national labs that fuels American innovation and helps create jobs in the growth industries of tomorrow. As we consider funding for the upcoming fiscal year, we must be mindful of our deficit, but we cannot abandon our nation’s leadership in research and innovation.”

In June, Durbin met with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to discuss the importance of continued federal funding for the energy research and development accounts that support work at Fermilab. Durbin has championed funding for these programs, and earlier this year helped secure $806 million in funding for the Office of Science’s High Energy Physics account which is the primary source of funding for Fermilab, and accounts for approximately 90 percent of the lab’s funding. The funding – included in the Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations Bill for Energy and Water Development – helps support the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment, a primary focus at Fermilab; the Muon to Electron Experiment, which could result in the development of a revolutionary technology in the field; and the Illinois Accelerator Research Center, which helps quickly translate scientific advancements in High Energy Physics to other energy and medical research fields.

Fermilab is the nation’s premier high-energy physics laboratory that employs over 1,700 people including physicists, engineers and computer professionals.  The laboratory leads U.S. research into the fundamental nature of matter and energy. Fermilab is a world-leading laboratory in the study of neutrino physics and particle accelerator technologies.

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