Science and Technology
The health and longevity of Oklahoma’s economy depends in large part on the acceleration of scientific and technological innovations. Maintaining Oklahoma’s leadership in these fields requires a concerted effort to ensure ongoing investments in technology, education and science.
As a member of the STEM Education Caucus, I support broadening science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at the elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels. I believe we must harness American innovation by improving energy efficacy and success, supporting research and basic science labs and widening access to STEM education while building America’s STEM workforce.
I support the needs of our scientists to continue their research and provide meaningful employment to our communities. In fact, the Fourth District of Oklahoma is the proud home of the National Weather Center, a massive research center that provides facts and predictions regarding the weather and information on emergency preparedness. Not only does the center provide lifesaving resources to Oklahomans, but it also benefits our state’s economy and workforce as a major employer to our district for scientists, researchers and meteorologists from around the world. Science and research programs like these are vital for solving the most pressing challenges facing Oklahoma and the entire nation.
Research Leadership in the Fourth District
The University of Oklahoma (OU) plays a vital role in comprehensive research. With three campuses in Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OU encompasses a broad array of disciplines in chemistry, engineering, meteorology, medicine, physics and much more. OU is designated by the Carnegie Foundation as a Highest Research Activity institution, placing it in the top tier of comprehensive research universities in the nation.
Also in the Fourth District, Ada is the home to the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center. Research at the Kerr Lab focuses on soil and subsurface environments. This is the Environmental Protection Agency’s first ever carbon-neutral laboratory and the center for expertise on groundwater remediation and ecosystem restoration research. Moreover, the Noble Research Institute houses its headquarters in the Fourth District city of Ardmore. The Noble Institute specializes in research helps farmers and ranchers improve land stewardship and productivity. With 350 resident scientists and consultants, the Noble Research Institute is an amazing resource for agricultural challenges right in the heart of Oklahoma.
More on Science and Technology
While lawmakers debate numerous issues of significance, an important matter surrounding personal freedom and national security quietly looms in the background. America and our Western allies are locked in a modern-day space race with China and Russia to establish international norms for the revolutionary 5G wireless network.
Last week brought some significant news for Oklahoma that affirmed the tremendous talent and potential that exists in our state’s medical and research communities. Specifically, I was honored to have a part in applauding Oklahoma based researchers who are leading the way at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), as recognized by two competitive federal grants that were recently awarded.
Like most rhetoric coming from President Barack Obama, his latest budget was filled with initiatives that sound good until you get into the details, especially the details regarding how to pay for these initiatives. This couldn’t have been more clear than in the method he proposed to deal with health threats to society posed by diseases like cancer and conditions like opioid abuse. While the president saw the value of enlisting biomedical and scientific researchers to deal with these problems, his proposed plan to pay for these policies is extremely irresponsible.