Casten Announces Distinguished Scientist Dr. Dieter Martin Gruen as State of the Union Guest

January 31, 2020
Press Release
Congressman Highlights Gruen’s Scientific Contributions; Hopes to Shed a Light on the Importance of Science

Glen Ellyn, IL. – U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) announced today that his guest to the annual State of the Union address will be German-American scientist Dr. Dieter Martin Gruen. Dr. Gruen currently lives in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Dr. Gruen, 97-years-old, immigrated to the United States from Nazi Germany in 1936. In his long career as a renowned scientist, Dr. Gruen worked to enhance American technology development through his time with the Manhattan Project and at Argonne National Laboratory. His work focused on alternative energy, and his advancements in the field included uranium purification and the reactor cooling design of nuclear-powered submarines. In recent years, Dr. Gruen has become an advocate for action on climate change with his time and talents aimed toward creating new solar cell technology.

Casten previously nominated Dr. Dieter Martin Gruen for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, due to his lifetime of contributions to American national security and the energy sector. Casten sent the letter of support along with Representatives Bill Foster (IL-11) and Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) for Dr. Gruen’s nomination in November. 

Casten said, “Dr. Gruen’s drive and commitment to science have allowed him to make critical contributions to nuclear fission and fusion, solar energy, and energy storage. His work has positioned the U.S. as a leader and world power in technology, innovation, and national defense. For nearly eight decades, he has furthered academic research and enhanced American technology development.

“I am honored Dr. Gruen will be my State of the Union guest. In a time when science is under attack by this Administration, I hope to send a message to the President: Science and facts must be at the forefront of our country. Dr. Gruen’s achievements have touched and inspired my work, and I hope it inspires generations to come.”

Gruen said, “I am deeply honored by Rep. Casten’s nomination of me for the Presidential Medal of Freedom and as his guest at the annual State of the Union address. This honor is particularly welcome because of the long and deep commitment Rep. Casten has shown over the years concerning environmental issues that affect the health and well-being of every American. At this juncture we must put aside partisan issues and work all of us, together, to safeguard our future and that of generations still to come. As a scientist who has been privileged to find safety and meaningful work in this blessed country, it is a particular pleasure to be recognized in this way.”