AAAS articulates positions on critical science-related issues in public statements from the Board of Directors and Council, in letters to Congress and other public bodies, and in newspaper commentaries and broadcast interviews.
Policy & Public Statements
“Unshackle Science to Let the U.S. Address Global Problems.” — Op-ed, New Scientist [11 November 2015]
AAAS President Geraldine Richmond's response to Representative Jackie Speier. [4 November 2015]
Social Science Caricature Sets Back Human Progress. [13 July 2015]
AAAS Applauds Effort to Establish New Diplomatic Ties With Cuba. [17 December 2014]
Letter from Alan I. Leshner to the Texas State Board of Education. [29 September 2014]
Letter from Alan I. Leshner to Senator Harry Reid and Senator Robert Menendez. [10 September 2014]
"AAAS Opposes Oklahoma's Controversial Science Education Bill" [26 March 2012]
"AAAS Reaffirms Strong Opposition to Tennessee's Controversial 'Monkey Bills' " [21 March 2012]
Letter to Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator [10 August 2011]
"AAAS to School Officials: Climate Change is Real" [6 June 2011]
Multisociety Letter on Export Controls [8 February 2011]
"Fix Science Education Now" [21 October 2010]
"Coburn-McCain report goes too far" [25 August 2010]
"The United States, Europe and the Globalization of Science" [1 July 2010]
"Science, Religion and Civil Dialogue" [16 June 2010]
"Leshner: Probe Is Beyond Bounds of Appropriate Oversight" [24 May 2010]
"Don't let the climate doubters fool you" [9 December 2009]
"AAAS Reaffirms Statement on Climate Change" [4 December 2009]
Letter on WMD Preparedness and Prevention ACT of 2009 [2 November 2009]
"Reaffirmation of Commitment to Scientific Peer Review" [20 October 2009]
"Adopt National Standards to Help Children Compete" [10 June 2009]
"AAAS Response to Draft NIH Human Stem Cell Research Guidelines" [20 May 2009]
"Building an International Network of Knowledge" [January 2009]
"A Wake-up Call for Science Education" [12 January 2009]
"Anti-Science Law Threatens Tech Jobs of Future" [6 May 2008]
"Standing in the Way of Stem Cell Research" [3 December 2007]
"AAAS Board Statement on The Crisis in Earth Observation from Space" [28 April 2007]
AAAS Board Releases New Statement on Climate Change [18 February 2007; statement approved by the board on 9 December 2006]
"Building Science, Building Trust" [8 January 2007]
"Critical Analysis"—or Critical Deception? [13 September 2006]
AAAS Letter to Congressional Leaders Urges Passage of 2007 Spending Bills [20 December 2006]
"Science and Public Engagement" [12 October 2006]
"Time to Get Serious About Climate Change" [1 August 2006]
"No Conflict Between Science and Religion" [31 July 2006]
Balancing Values in the Stem Cell Debate [18 July 2006]
AAAS Urges Defeat of Oklahoma Measure [22 March 2006]
AAAS Condemns British Group's Proposed Academic Boycott of Israel [26 February 2006]
Letters & Commentaries
AAAS responds to UNESCO's request for comments on the draft document, "Preliminary Study on the Technical and Legal Aspects Relating to the Desirability of Revising the 1974 Recommendation on the Status of Scientific Researchers."
AAAS sent a letter to Representative Lofgren in support of the Science Laureates of the United States Act of 2013.
AAAS submits public comments on institutional oversight of life sciences dual use research of concern.
AAAS sends a petition with about 16,000 signatures to the White House and Congress, urging them to avoid sequestration and the resulting devastating cuts to R&D funding.
AAAS sends letter to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to share our thoughts about federal travel and meeting policies.
AAAS affirms the importance of research to better understand and curb gun violence in a letter to Reps. Maloney and Markey. Read the press release and letter here.
AAAS thanks President Obama for supporting research on gun violence. See the letter here.
AAAS sent a collection of messages from scientists around the country, telling Congress about the importance of their federally funded research. Check out what they said: http://membercentral.aaas.org/sequestration/voices/videos.
On December 7, 2012, AAAS and over one hundred other scientific societies send a letter to the White House and Congress, urging them to avoid the sequestration.
On May 18, 2012, AAAS and affiliates sent letters to the House and the Senate to express concern regarding amendments that would place severe restrictions on government employees' abilities to attend meetings and conferences.
On January 18, AAAS reaffirmed its support for the current public access policy of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), stating that it does not endorse the Research Works Act, which would prevent NIH from requiring its grantees to make biomedical research findings freely available via the National Library of Medicine's Web site.
On January 12, AAAS responded to a Request for Information by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on public access to peer-reviewed publications resulting from federally-funded research.
On January 12, AAAS responded to a Request for Information by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on public access to peer-reviewed publications resulting from federally-funded research.
On December 20, AAAS sent a letter to leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee detailing its concerns with the Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011.
In a November 8 letter, AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner, expressed "grave concerns regarding the prospect of a 50 percent reduction in the budget of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)," as proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
On October 28, AAAS sent an intersociety letter to Members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reductionreminding them of the value of federal investment in R&D.
On October 26, AAAS commented on an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to human subjects research protections
On August 30, AAAS, among many other organizations, signed onto a letter that informed members of Congress of the value of research and development.
On August 10, AAAS submitted comments supporting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's draft Scientific Integrity Policy.
On July 13, Directors of three AAAS programs commented on the revised merit review criteria put forward from the National Science Board's Task Force on Merit Review.
On July 11, over 140 scientific societies and universities sent a letter urging U.S. policymakers, in their need to cut spending, to avoid singling out specific programs-such as the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences-and to refrain from bypassing independent peer review.
On July 5, AAAS wrote Richard M. Thomas, associate general counsel for the Office of Government Ethics, to support OGE's proposed rule that would allow federal scientists to participate in professional societies.
Reports of personal attacks on climate scientists, including harassment, legal challenges, and even death threats, have created a hostile environment that inhibits the free exchange of scientific findings and makes it difficult for factual information to reach policymakers and the public, the AAAS Board of Directors said in a statement of concern. "AAAS vigorously opposes attacks on researchers that question their personal and professional integrity or threaten their safety based on displeasure with their scientific conclusions," the Board said in the statement, which was approved on 28 June.
On June 1, AAAS sent Members of the Board of Directors of the Los Alamitos Unified School District a letter encouraging them to remove the AP Environmental Science class from its "controversial issue" policy. The letter, which included a statement on climate science by the leaders of 18 scientific societies, stated, "Although debate about policy options exists, climate change is not a scientifically-controversial topic."
On May 3, AAAS sent House and Senate leadership a letter thanking them for supporting R&D in the 2011 Continuing Resolution.
On April 5, AAAS sent Representatives from the Tennessee Legislature a letter asking them to reject an anti-evolution education bill and support a rigorous scientific education curriculum.
On March 25, AAAS sent Senator Franken (D-NM) a letter supporting the overall goal of the STEM Master Teachers Corp Act of 2011.
On March 2, in response to a call for information pertaining to the science of evolution and global warming, AAAS CEO Alan Leshner wrote two Tennessee State Representatives a letter on the subjects.
On Feb. 24, AAAS CEO Alan Leshner sent Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a letter urging them to support federal investment in R&D via the Continuing Resolution.
On Feb. 16, AAAS CEO Alan Leshner sent Representatives a letter stating the value of research and development and the need to support it in HR. 1, the Continuing Resolution for FY 2011.
On January 6, 2011, AAAS CEO Alan Leshner sent President Obama a letter thanking him for signing the America COMPETES Act into law.
On December 24, AAAS sent Representative Gordon (D-TN) a letter thanking him for his leadership and support that were instrumental in passing the the America COMPETES ACT (H.R. 5116).
On December 22, AAAS sent Representatives a letter thanking them for supporting the America COMPETES ACT (H.R. 5116).
On December 20, AAAS sent Representatives a letter encouraging them to support the America COMPETES ACT (H.R. 5116).
On December 17, AAAS sent Senators a letter thanking them for their support of the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 5116) and expressing concern about a provision in the Senate SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2009 (S.1233).
On November 17, AAAS endorsed letters to both Senate and House Appropriators urging them to "maintain the $7.4 billion budget level supported by the House [Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies] Appropriations Subcommittee, the Senate Appropriations Committee and the President" for the National Science Foundation.
On November 5, AAAS endorsed a letter sent by the Task Force on American Innovation urging "the Senate to recognize the continued importance of the America COMPETES initiative by passing the bill this year."
On September 23, AAAS Science and Policy Programs Director Al Teich testified before the House Subcommittee on Research and Science Education. The topic of the hearing was "The Science of Science and Innovation Policy,"or SciSIP.
On September 17, AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner sent a letter to the to the Department of the Interior that applauded the formation of and suggested improvements to their Proposed Scientific Integrity Policy.
On June 29, AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner sent a letter to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano that expressed concerns "over the recent indictments of six scientists and a government official" because they "failed to alert the population of L'Aquila of an impending earthquake" despite the fact that there is "no accepted scientific method for earthquake prediction that can be reliably used to warn citizens of impending disaster."
On May 23, AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner in a in the Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed stated "the probe launched by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli [on Michael Mann's climate research] goes beyond the bounds of appropriate oversight, and could threaten the free exchange of scientific findings and ideas."
The AAAS Board of Directors, in a May 18 statement, asked Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli to either justify his investigation of climate researcher Michael Mann or end it, calling it "an apparently political action" that could have a chilling effect on scientific research. The Board, while acknowledging the responsibility of state and federal officials to oversee the proper use of grant funds, said Cuccinelli's request "goes far beyond what is needed to determine financial propriety, including substantive emails with colleagues, computer codes, and the detailed data resulting from Dr. Mann's work."
On April 26, AAAS CEO Dr. Leshner sent House Science and Technology Committee leadership a letter supporting the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act.
On April 16, the AAAS Board of Directors adopted a statement on the Human Right to the Benefits of Scientific Progress
On January 21, AAAS sent a letter to the Office of Science and Technology Policy commenting on Public Acccess Policies for Science and Technology Funding Agencies Across the Federal Government.
AAAS CEO Alan Leshner wrote in a statement thanks the Administration for its commitment to the issue their efforts to work with the community to improve the visa process. (June 10, 2009)
AAAS sent Sen. Dodd and Rep. Ehlers letters on June 2 supporting the Standards to Provide Educational Achievement for Kids (SPEAK) Act.
On May 20, AAAS commented on NIH guidelines for human stem cell research which was published in the April 23, 2009 Federal Register.
AAAS, on May 13, responded to the Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) request for public comment on the Presidential Memo on Scientific Integrity published in the Federal Register on April 23, 2009.
AAAS sent letters to Secretaries Salazar and Locke thanking them for restoring the interagency consultation process of the Endangered Species Act. (May 5, 2009)
AAAS, on February 19, sent thank you letters to the leadership in both chamber of Congress, as well as to key appropriators and bipartisan members of the conference committee for including science and technology in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.
AAAS Submits Comments and the AAAS Board Statement on Climate Change in Response to the EPA's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under the Clean Air Act. (November 14, 2008)
AAAS Submits Comments on Human Subjects Protection Training. (September 29, 2008)
AAAS Submits Comments on Changes to Endangered Species Act. (September 15, 2008)
AAAS and Five Other Organizations Comment on the Subject of Dual Use Research. (July 15, 2008)
AAAS CEO Alan Leshner Testifies on Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Promoting International Science Cooperation. (July 15, 2008)
AAAS Submits a Letter in an Effort to Protect the Teaching of Evolution in US Public School. (June 20, 2008)
AAAS Submits a Letter in an Effort to Protect the Teaching of Evolution in US Public School. (June 10, 2008)
AAAS Submits a Letter Opposing the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act. (May 14, 2008)
AAAS Submits Written Testimony on FY 2009 R&D Budget Request (March 11, 2008)
AAAS Writes Letter of Support for Evolution in Florida Science Standards (February 19, 2008)
AAAS Disappointed with Final FY 2008 Research and Development Funding Levels (December 20, 2007)
AAAS Thanks Members for Efforts to Advance Discussions on Climate Change to Senate Floor (December 14, 2007)
AAAS Encourages Action on Climate Change (November 30, 2007)
AAAS Urges the President to Sign the COMPETES Act (August 3, 2007)
AAAS Thanks House Members for COMPETES Act Support. (August 2, 2007)
AAAS Asks President to Sign the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (June 7, 2007)
AAAS Thanks House Leadership for Passage of the Reauthorization of NSF. (May 8, 2007)
AAAS Board Releases Statement on Earth Observations. (April 28, 2007)
AAAS Thanks Senate for Passing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. (April 12, 2007)
AAAS Urges Senate Support for Expanding Federally Funded Stem Cell Research. (April 9, 2007)
AAAS CEO Alan Leshner testified before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. (March 7, 2007)
AAAS CEO Alan Leshner testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. (February 28, 2007)
AAAS Board of Directors releases statement on climate change. (February 18, 2007)
AAAS letter thanks House for passing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007. (January 18, 2007)
AAAS letter appeals to the White House for increased R&D funding levels in 2007. (January 11, 2007)
AAAS letter applauds introduction of the SPEAK Act. (January 8, 2007)
AAAS letter urges House support for expanding federally funded stem cell research. (January 8, 2007)
AAAS sent a letter to the incoming leadership and Appropriations Committee chairs, urging them to support federal research and development funding as they complete the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriations process. AAAS cited congressional actions that reflect "a balanced portfolio of R&D investments and recognition of the important interaction of the physical, biological, behavioral, and social sciences." (December 19, 2006)
AAAS CEO Alan Leshner sent comments on the Department of Defense revised rule to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) for "preventing unauthorized disclosure of export-controlled information and technology under DOD contracts." AAAS commended DOD for the extent to which it reached out to the academic and private-sector community and provided several recommendations in the interest of balancing scientific progress and national security interests.(October 12, 2006) .
AAAS CEO Alan Leshner wrote a letter to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Joe Barton to express support for the NIH Reform Act of 2006, noting that "it is vitally important that Congress support the research taking place at NIH." (September 25, 2006)
AAAS Board Chairman Gilbert S. Omenn has written a letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee to express support for a pending bill that would strengthen laws against harassment, threats or intimidation of those involved in animal enterprises, including biomedical research with laboratory animals. (September 9, 2006)
AAAS wrote to leaders in Congress and the White House, encouraging them to back efforts to expand federal support for stem cell research. AAAS Board of Directors Chairman Gilbert Omenn and CEO Alan I. Leshner sent a letter to each member of the Senate urging that federally funded researchers be granted access to additional embryonic stem cell lines. After the bill's passage, Omenn and Leshner sent a letter asking President Bush not to veto the bill and thanked Senate supporters of stem cell research for their efforts. (August 1, 2006)
AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies to thank them for supporting "a broad, balanced portfolio of investments in research and development." Leshner had earlier written to ask them to "consider proposals that will allow Congress to support research across agencies and disciplines" (July 28, 2006)
Al Teich, Director, AAAS Science and Policy Programs, testified before the House Science Committee on scientific and technical advice for Congress. (July 25, 2006)
AAAS Board of Directors Chairman Gilbert Omenn submitted comments on NSF's draft strategic plan, commending the agency for its commitment to "strengthen fundamental research across the full spectrum of science and engineering." (July 12, 2006)
AAAS CEO Alan Leshner testified before the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee on stem cell research. (June 27, 2006)
AAAS has sent a letter to David H. McCormick, Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, commending him for his work with the scientific, national security, and business communities that led to the Commerce Department's withdrawing its proposed "deemed export" rules and offering AAAS's assistance to the Deemed Export Advisory Committee.
AAAS letter to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to resist any effort to undercut the National Science Foundation's ability to support research across all fields and concern on language in a pending innovation bill that seems to require awarding 8 percent of research funding outside the usual peer- review. (May 18, 2006)
AAAS letter to Representatives Schwartz and McCaul thanking them for encouraging innovation and advancing science, math, and engineering education. (May 11, 2006)
AAAS CEO Alan Leshner testified before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space, discussing the proposed budget and priorities for the National Science Foundation (May 2, 2006)
AAAS Encourages Innovation
AAAS President Gil Omenn recently wrote to the leaders of both parties in the House and Senate, as well as President Bush, thanking them for bringing science to the national agenda through the innovation initiatives.(March 17, 2006)
AAAS comments on proposed changes to EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (January 12, 2006)
Letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Barton expressing concern about the impact of letters recently sent by Barton to several scientists, including Drs. Michael S. Mann, Malcom K. Hughes, and Raymond S. Bradley, regarding their research in climate science. (July 13, 2005)
Letter to Reps. Castle and DeGette on stem cell research expansion (March 16, 2005)
Letter to Sens. Specter and Harkin on stem cell research expansion (March 16, 2005)
Letter to U.N. General Assembly on human cloning (March 7, 2005)
Letter to Rep. Johnson on Genetic Nondiscrimination (July 20, 2004)
Letter to Reps. Castle and DeGette(April 28, 2004)
Comments to OMB on proposed peer review guidelines (December 12, 2003)
Thank you letter to the Senate following action on genetic discrimination (November 7, 2003)
PRESS RELEASE: Urging UN to endorse cloning for research purposes (November 3, 2003)
PRESS RELEASE: Denouncing efforts to stop health studies (October 30, 2003)
Letter to the House on genetic discrimination (October 14, 2003)
PRESS RELEASE: Pending Senate action on genetic discrimination (October 10, 2003)
Letter to the Senate on genetic discrimination (March 21, 2003)
JOINT BOARD-COUNCIL RESOLUTION: Membership on Federal Advisory Committees (March 3, 2003)
Letter to Congress on proposed homeland security department (July 8, 2002)
SENATE TESTIMONY: Relations with Cuba, Dr. Alan I. Leshner (June 19, 2002)
SENATE TESTIMONY: Federal R&D budget, Dr. Alan I. Leshner (May 22, 2002)
COUNCIL RESOLUTION: Direction and Activities of Smithsonian Institution (February 17, 2002)
COUNCIL RESOLUTION: Freedom of Speech (February 17, 2002)
BOARD RESOLUTION: Statement on Human Cloning (February 14, 2002)
Statement on President Bush's Stem Cell Policy (August 17, 2001)
COUNCIL RESOLUTION: Unity, Diversity, and Interdependence Among the Sciences (February 18, 2001)
Statement on Genetic Discrimination in Health Insurance (November 1999)
BOARD RESOLUTION: AAAS Statement on the Kansas State Board of Education Decision on the Education of Students in the Science of Evolution and Cosmology (October 15, 1999)
BOARD RESOLUTION: The Universality of Science and Freedom in the Conduct of Science (June 25, 1999)
SENATE TESTIMONY: Federal R&D budget, Dr. Albert H. Teich (April 15, 1999)
SENATE TESTIMONY: Science and technology education, Dr. Shirley Malcom (March 17, 1999)
COUNCIL RESOLUTION: Expressing Concern About Legislation Opening all Federally-Funded Research Awards to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Demands (January 24, 1999)
SENATE TESTIMONY: Federal R&D budget, Dr. Albert H. Teich (April 28, 1998)
HOUSE TESTIMONY: Role of science in making good decisions, Dr. Mark S. Frankel (June 10, 1998)
JOINT BOARD-COUNCIL RESOLUTION: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (February 15, 1998)
COUNCIL RESOLUTION: Science and Technology Counselors at U.S. Embassies (February 15, 1998)
SENATE TESTIMONY: Federal R&D budget, Dr. Albert H. Teich (April 16, 1997)
HOUSE TESTIMONY: Federal R&D budget, Dr. Albert H. Teich (July 23, 1996)