Foster in his Longworth office on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Not everyone gets cards from Fermilab.
Democrat Bill Foster’s Longworth office is a modest one, its small waiting area festooned with the requisite Lincolnia befitting a House member from Illinois.
Amid the Land of Lincoln regalia is a more personal effect of the man who represents the 11th District, offering a hint of his role as Congress’ science guy. Displayed on the shelves are greetings and salutations from his friends at Fermilab, the national laboratory where Foster helped hunt down the top quark and pursue other experimental physics for nearly a quarter century. The snow-scaped image of Fermilab’s upside-down-Y-shaped Wilson Hall helps define who Foster is: a man whose scientific acumen has informed his life as an entrepreneur, physicist and public servant.
Foster has been proudly flying the science flag in the halls of Congress. On the floor, he’s gleefully pushed for the House’s science measures, even working in references to Star Wars.
In June he hobnobbed with Bill Nye the Science Guy at the White House Maker Faire, a kind of summit to push innovative entrepreneurship.
This is a man who seems comfortable verging into science geekiness.