George Brown, strong supporter of US science, dies
Jul 23, 1999
George Brown, the senior Democrat on the science committee of the House of Representatives and a strong advocate for basic research in the US, has died at the age of 79. Brown received a BA in industrial physics from the University of California in the 1940s and moved into politics in 1954 after a career as an engineer and manager. He was elected to Congress in 1962 and has represented the same district in California ever since. He died of an infection contracted during heart surgery in May.
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."