June 2012: CHESS Receives Support from NY Senator Charles Schumer
The Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source is one of five national hard X-ray facilities for synchrotron X-ray research and the only one operating at a university research facility. Recently, continued funding for the synchrotron was questionable as the National Science Foundation, which supports CHESS to the tune of $28M per year, considered cutting its funding.
Enter U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) who visited campus Monday, June 18 with welcome news: his office has secured commitments from the NSF, White House Office of Science and Technology, and the Acting Director of the OMB to continue to provide CHESS funding.
“It would have been a devastating blow not just to Cornell but to science in America. We have budget cuts–there’s no question–but this, there was huge bang for the buck here in terms of both private industry research as well as public research that has always been the hallmark of creating American jobs,” said Schumer.
Present at the press conference were Professors of Physics Sol Gruner and Ritchie Patterson. Gruner is the director of CHESS and Patterson is the director of the umbrella organization that manages CHESS the Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-Based Sciences and Education or CLASSE.
Patterson highlighted the many scientific contributions resulting from research performed at CHESS, including: development of new lifesaving drugs and novel materials for fuel cells; characterization of new polymers, ceramics and composites; studying materials at center-of-the-Earth pressures; and even using the powerful X-ray source to reveal features hidden underneath ancient and priceless works of art.