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Foster SESAME Amendment to Promote Science Diplomacy Passes House

Jun 20, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, an amendment offered by Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) to support funding for the Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) project and promote science diplomacy passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of an appropriations package for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

“Science provides a common language through which scientists from different countries and backgrounds can come together and work toward a common goal and solve some of today’s most complex problems,” Foster said. “As a scientist, I spent more than two decades working with colleagues from around the globe at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. That international collaboration transcended national boundaries and allowed us to better understand each other and the world around us. Today, as a Member of Congress, I am proud to represent Argonne National Laboratory where a new generation of scientists continue to break down boundaries and forge cooperation.”

SESAME is a synchrotron light source in Jordan and the Middle East’s first major international research center, bringing hundreds of scientists from the Middle East and around the world together. Light sources are accelerators that produce exceptionally intense beams of X-rays, ultra-violet, and infrared light, enabling scientific breakthroughs in fields as diverse as archeology, biology, and physics. The first technical publication presenting results using data obtained at a SESAME beamline was published on June 1, 2019.

Before running for office, Congressman Foster worked for over 20 years as a high-energy particle physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, managing several multimillion-dollar projects for accelerator construction and research. In Congress, he represents part of Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois.