Brown joined the science committee in 1965 and became chairman in 1990, losing his position when the Republicans gained control of Congress in 1995. The current chairman of the committee, James Sensenbrenner, was one of the many people to pay tribute to Brown. Others included President Clinton, vice-president Al Gore and NASA chief Dan Goldin.

"Whether it was protecting a science account from attack or pushing the newest area of research, George was a true friend to the science community," said Sensenbrenner. "Even after sitting through hundreds of presentations by researchers, George never lost a genuine delight in hearing of new breakthroughs."