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The Politicization of ScienceDate:
August 8, 2007
The Sweet House
254 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
Phone: (616) 706-2029
Vern Ehler’s presentation will focus on the politicization of science and the effect that this trend has had on our country.
Meetings are open to the Public
After the meeting, join us at Vitale’s Restaurant, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize. View Map
About Vern J. Ehlers, PhD
Congressman, Third Congressional District – Michigan, United States Congress
U.S. Representative Vernon J. Ehlers of Grand Rapids, Mich., was sworn in on January 4, 2007, to serve his seventh full term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was first elected to the 103rd Congress in a special election on December 7, 1993. Ehlers joined Congress following a distinguished tenure of service in teaching, scientific research and public service. He has served on numerous boards and commissions and was elected to the Kent County (Mich.) Board of Commissioners, and the Michigan House and Senate. The first research physicist to serve in Congress, Ehlers has been recognized for his strong work ethic and proven leadership skills in his duties on Capitol Hill. As a member of the 110th Congress, Ehlers serves on four standing House committees. He is the Ranking Republican of the House Administration Committee, which oversees the day-to-day operations of the House of Representatives, as well as the Smithsonian Institution, the National Zoo and the U.S. Botanical Gardens. It also plays a role in federal election legislation, among other issues. He has been a member of the committee since 1995 and was instrumental in the effort to connect the House of Representatives with the Internet and the creation of the Library of Congress’ Thomas website, which allows anyone to look up legislation being considered by Congress, laws that have been passed and other information about Congress. Ehlers served as chairman of this committee throughout 2006. Ehlers also serves on the Science and Technology Committee (previously known as the House Science Committee), on which he serves as Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on Research & Science Education. During his tenure on the committee, he oversaw in 1998 the writing of the nation’s first major statement on science policy since 1945. He also co-chairs the STEM Ed Caucus, which is dedicated to improving the nation’s K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. On the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Ehlers has led efforts to secure a fair funding formula and more dollars for Michigan’s roads, highways, and transit systems. In the 107th Congress, Ehlers led the development of the Great Lakes Legacy Act, which authorized spending $270 million over five years to clean up sediments in the Great Lakes. Ehlers also is a member of the Education and Labor (previously the Education and the Workforce) Committee, where he blends his efforts with the Science Committee on improving math and science education. Ehlers has served on the Science Committee and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee since his arrival in Washington and joined the Education and Labor Committee in 1999. Prior to Congress, Ehlers served a total of 11 years in the Michigan Legislature – with just over two years in the House and nine years in the Senate, where he finished his tenure as President Pro-Tem. He also served eight years on the Kent County Board of Commissioners, including three years as chairman. After three years of studying at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Ehlers transferred and received his undergraduate degree in physics and his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1960. After six years teaching and research at Berkeley, he moved back to Grand Rapids to Calvin College in 1966 where he taught physics for 16 years and later served as chairman of the Physics Department. During his tenure at Calvin, Ehlers also served as a volunteer science advisor to then-Congressman Gerald R. Ford. He is married to Johanna (Jo) Meulink and is the father of four adult children and the grandfather of four. He and his wife reside in Grand Rapids.