On October 27, Director Jeff Neaton and two Molecular Foundry users led a group to Washington D.C. to educate key members of Congress and staff about advances in nanoscience and the research opportunities presented by user facilities. Ambika Bumb, CEO and Founder of Bikanta, described her company's efforts at the Foundry to synthesize and characterize nanodiamonds for cancer detection. Chris Regan from UCLA spoke about his collaborations with the Foundry that have led to new methods for measuring and understanding temperature at the atomic scale for the development of more efficient computer processors. The group was joined by Branden Brough, Director of Strategy and External Relations at the Molecular Foundry, and Don Medley, Head of Government and Community Relations at Berkeley Lab.
The team met with Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), Congressman Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley) and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Silicon Valley). They also had an impromptu discussion with Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove). Senior staff from the offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Congressman David Valadao (R-Central Valley) and Democratic House Leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), met with the group, as did Democratic and Republican staff from the House Science Committee, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.
Following the visit, Representative Lofgren blogged about the meeting, which can be read here.