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Chief Counsel for Science Panel Dies

Barry Beringer, 57, chief counsel of the House Science Committee, died Monday of pancreatic cancer.

The New Jersey native joined the committee in 1989 after serving as the associate undersecretary for economic affairs in the Commerce Department. While there, he helped negotiate the passage of the Product Liability Risk Retention Act, the Federal Technology Transfer Act and the Japanese Technical Literature Act. Beringer became chief counsel under Chairman Robert Walker (R-Pa.) and served in that role for eight years.

“We all feel Barry’s loss acutely. Barry had an indispensable sense of the Committee’s history and was an irreplaceable guide through legal issues,” Science Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) said in a statement released Monday. “More importantly, Barry was a warm and decent person, who cared deeply about his family and colleagues. In his many years on Capitol Hill, he made only friends.”

Beringer graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., in 1968 with a bachelor’s in political science and received his law degree from American University Law School in 1971.

Beringer was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year and died at the Arlington Hospice, where he had moved to Sept. 27. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and his two children, Francis, a sophomore at the College of William and Mary, and Katie, a high school junior.

Once the memorial service is arranged, details will be posted at

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