Academic and business leaders from across the country met with U.S. senators in Washington D.C., on March 25 to discuss the importance of continued government funding for university-sponsored scientific research. The event - the Senate Republican Conference Issue Forum on Science and Technology Research - brought government, education and industry to the table for candid discussions about the country's need to maintain its investment in research at the same time that it attempts to balance the federal budget. The forum was chaired by Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), pictured at left. Attending from UI were Jiri Jonas (center), director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and professor of chemistry, and Joe Lyding, professor of electrical and computer engineering. The group is exploring future meetings with Senate Democrats and with members of the House of Representatives.