Ranking Member Barrasso Welcomes University of Wyoming’s President to the Senate

August 5, 2021

Dr. Ed Seidel testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), welcomed Dr. Ed Seidel, president of the University of Wyoming, to the Senate. Seidel was testifying before the committee at a hearing on the role of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science and programs within it.

Click here to watch Seidel’s testimony. 

Barrasso introduced Seidel to the committee prior to his testimony. “I would especially like to thank Dr. Edward Seidel for making the trip from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. We appreciate you coming in person to testify. 

“Dr. Seidel is the president of the University of Wyoming. He is also an astrophysicist and former member of the Argonne National Laboratory’s Board of Governors. Dr. Seidel was recruited to the National Science Foundation in 2008 and oversaw the creation of the cyberinfrastructure office. He later led the Foundation’s largest science unit. 

“Dr. Seidel is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. We are lucky to have a university president with such relevant experience for this important discussion today,” said Barrasso

In his written testimony, Seidel highlighted the need to further support the strengths of the DOE Office of Science. “Stronger efforts are required, not only via an ‘all-in-government’ approach across DOE and other agencies, but in deep partnerships with academia and industry with enhanced attention and funding to support more comprehensive public-private partnerships. Recommendations for such activities abound; the recent Council on Competitiveness report on ‘Competing in the New Economy’ recommends specifically expanding formal DOE Lab missions to encompass economic competitiveness,” wrote Seidel.  

Seidel discussed the opportunities for science in rural America. “Of all the problems faced, the development of the workforce and the pivot of the economy are central to rural America’s, and to the nation’s future. The EPSCoR program of DOE and NSF is a major tool to build the education and research capacity of states like Wyoming. But I would urge creation of new mechanisms for even deeper partnerships with the DOE Office of Science, particularly its national labs, around research, education, and innovation programs to grow our tech-savvy workforce and our economies,” said Seidel

Seidel concluded by stating, “This national effort, needed to compete in the global economy, must encompass the assets from universities, national labs, and industry. Such efforts require contributions not only from the Office of Science, but from the entire federal, academic and private sector components, each with different approaches and strengths. This must include rural regions of America, with their unique assets, culture, and talent base, in order for our national efforts to succeed in this global competition.” 

For more information on Seidel’s testimony and the hearing, click here.