Bill Foster (IL-11)

Physicist

2018 candidate for US House of Representatives, Illinois, District 11

Affiliation: Democrat[ref]


About Bill

Education: BS in Physics from University of Wisconsin–Madison; PhD in Physics from Harvard University.[ref]

Professional experience: Bill’s STEM career started at 19, when he and his brother co-founded Electronic Theatre Controls.1 [ref] After he moved into particle physics, he collaborated on the Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven detector, studying proton decay and neutrinos. Bill later joined the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) where he helped design the Tevatron particle accelerator’s first and largest detector. Bill was part of the Fermilab team that discovered the top quark. He was also the co-inventor of Fermilab’s Antiproton Recycler Ring, and led the team that invented a new type of integrated circuit for measuring particle collisions.[ref]

Bill’s STEM-related work in the US House includes: [ref]

  • Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where he opposes efforts to attack climate science
  • Co-founder of the Inventions Caucus (focused on the US patent system)
  • Democratic co-chair of the House Research & Development Caucus
  • Evaluated technical aspects of compliance with nuclear non-proliferation agreements

Publications: Scopus.com lists Bill as an author or co-author on 430 publications in particle physics and related fields.


Path to Congress

Incumbent: himself

Primary: March 20, 2018

Bill is the incumbent in this race, and the only Democrat running in the primary. There are two Republicans running as well, including STEM candidate Nick Stella.[Ballotpedia]

General: November 6, 2018

Bill has served in the US House since 2008, where he represented the 14th District until 2012 (when Illinois redrew its districts), and now represents the 11th District since 2012. Prior to being redrawn, the 11th District had been frequently, but not exclusively, held by Republican candidates. In recent presidential elections, this district has voted for the Democratic candidates.[Ballotpedia] [Wikipedia]


Contact Information


  1. Bill sold his interest in ETC in 2007 when he first ran for Congress, to avoid potential conflicts of interest.