All of us here at Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), headquartered in Tucson, are deeply saddened by the assassination attempt on U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, as well the related deaths and gunshot wounds suffered by others in Saturday’s massacre.
Our prayers go out to those whose loved ones perished; words simply cannot express the shock of such a loss. At the same time, we remain hopeful that Gabby and our other friends and neighbors who were injured will recover and resume normal lives.
From the standpoint of advancing the American scientific enterprise, Congresswoman Giffords, who sits on the House Science and Technology Committee, is a priceless asset to our nation and a very good friend to RCSA.
She is a strong and vocal proponent of accelerating development of clean, renewable solar power as an economic driver for Arizona, and for our nation. This is a cause we share with Congresswoman Giffords. She is a leader in this movement not only because her home district, which includes Tucson, is rich in year-round sunshine, but also -- and importantly -- because she was among the first to grasp that solar power presents a strategic advantage to American troops in far-flung theatres of battle. She has championed the fact that convoys could be greatly reduced and many lives could be saved among civilian and military truck drivers if energy supplies for our military outposts could be generated on-site, rather than hauled across dangerous territories.
It is Congresswoman Giffords’ quick grasp of such game-changing possibilities, -- often unseen by others, even the so-called “experts” -- that is the hallmark of a practical and brilliant mind, a quintessentially American mind. We at RCSA have been privileged to see her mind at work firsthand due to our shared interests and common goal of enhancing solar energy generation through scientific innovation. We cherish the time we have been able to spend with her, as well as the kindness, courtesy and professionalism she and her staff, including Gabe Zimmerman, 30, the Congresswoman's slain director of community outreach, have extended to us in our home town as well as in the halls of Congress.
Of course the work of advancing the American scientific enterprise will go on, and RCSA will maintain and enhance our commitment to Congresswoman Gifford’s vision as we seek to move this mutual agenda forward for both Arizona and our nation. And, we look forward to the day when our friend and colleague returns to lead us. Our nation, the state of Arizona, and the people of Tucson will be on much more secure footing when that day arrives. Get well soon, Gabby.
James M. Gentile
President & CEO
Research Corporation for Science Advancement