Senator Meets with Directors of Argonne and Fermilab to Discuss Support for National Labs

[WASHINGTON, DC] – This week, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with Dr. Nigel Lockyer, the Director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and Dr. Peter Littlewood, Director of Argonne National Laboratory, to discuss the importance of continued federal funding for scientific research and development programs.


“With the support of federal funding, scientific discoveries are changing our world, driving our economy, and giving us the competitive edge that America needs to succeed in the 21st century,” Durbin said. “With Fermilab, Argonne, and our national laboratories leading the way, these investments protect America’s position at the forefront of innovation.”


Fermilab, located in Batavia, Illinois, is our nation’s premier high-energy physics laboratory and home to the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment. Argonne, located in Lemont, Illinois, is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers. Argonne is also the nation's first national laboratory to house basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology.


Although groundbreaking work continues to be done at research universities and National Laboratories like Fermilab and Argonne, Durbin has raised concerns regarding the steady decline in federal research investment which has led to a cumulative $1.5 trillion research investment deficit. Durbin is the author of two bills – the American Cures Act and the American Innovation Act – to support biomedical and science research, and to preserve America’s standing as a leader in discovery and innovation.


The American Innovation Act will put funding for basic research on a consistent, steady growth path over the next decade by providing annual budget increases of 5 percent – over and above inflation – for cutting edge research at five important federal research agencies: the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Directorate.