George E. Brown, ranking Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee, died on July 15 at the age of 79 due to complications following a heart valve replacement last May. He was a strong advocate for science and environmental protection measures, and an independent thinker who sometimes found himself alone or far ahead of other people on issues.

A congressman for 34 years who represented first the 29th Congressional District and then the 42nd District in California, Brown served on the science committee since 1965 and was chair from 1991 through 1994.