AAAS Urges Senate to Support Federal Research at NSF

AAAS CEO Alan Leshner wrote to the U.S. Senate to urge Senators to support federal research at the National Science Foundation. The following letter was sent on June 18: 

Dear Senator,

On behalf of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society, we urge your continued support for the FY 2015 federal research and development budgets under consideration as part of the CJS-AG-THUD appropriations bill currently on the floor.  

In particular, I would like to note that the National Science Foundation (NSF) is unique among federal agencies in that it supports all disciplines in a balanced portfolio based on scientific merit.  For this reason, we discourage lawmakers from considering amendments that would undermine the merit-evaluation process or attempt to eliminate or substantially reduce funding for specific areas of science such as the NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, and the Directorate for Geosciences. 

Targeting specific grants or eliminating entire sets of disciplines would produce a chilling effect across the scientific community that inhibits scientific progress and our ability to tackle societal challenges. 

Sincerely,

Alan I. Leshner
Chief Executive Officer and
Executive Publisher, Science
American Association for the Advancement of Science