A Message from AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner

The looming sequestration would slash federal investment in research and development by an estimated $57 billion between now and 2017. That is not good for science, but it is also bad for an economy whose growth is driven by advances in science and technology.

Today, AAAS is asking for your help in urging federal policymakers to protect R&D funding from these potentially devastating cuts. Please take a moment to make a submission highlighting the importance of federal funding to your work and what would be lost if our leaders do not reach a bipartisan resolution to the budget impasse.

We will then take your message to Capitol Hill and the White House to ensure our community is heard from on this critical issue. We will also work to amplify your voice by attracting as much press and public interest as possible.

With your help we can make sure that the scientific community’s voice is heard in the ongoing budget negotiations. Join us. Together we can make a difference.

AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner

AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner

All Videos & Comments

Government sponsored R&D is the life-blood of new technology and future jobs. The type of research provided by the...

Read More

Government sponsored R&D is the life-blood of new technology and future jobs. The type of research provided by the Federal Government is not provided by the private sector and is necessary to support the applied research conducted by private industry. The government sponsored R&D should be increased, not decreased, to create new industries and keep this country strong economically.

Werner B.
December 7, 2012
Werner B.
December 7, 2012

Investments in scientific research as well as science and technology education programs are necessary for the United States to...

Read More

Investments in scientific research as well as science and technology education programs are necessary for the United States to maintain global leadership in scientific innovation. We need progress in scientific areas to not only solve our most pressing problems in energy, security, health care, and agriculture, but also to ensure our country's economic prosperity into the future. Without federal support, the U.S. cannot compete against other countries that leverage their own government funding to strengthen educational and research programs. Interrupting this important work in our county will damage our research infrastructure with lasting repercussions. I help develop science and technology educational programs for colleges and universities, with support from federal funding. This effort is critical to develop and train the workforce of tomorrow. Preparing the next generation of scientists, engineers, and information technologists requires strategic investments in higher education that will create national benefits far into the future.

Laura R.
December 7, 2012
Laura R.
December 7, 2012

As a postdoctoral researcher, I join with other Americans who are concerned about their futures. The funding for my research,...

Read More

As a postdoctoral researcher, I join with other Americans who are concerned about their futures. The funding for my research, including my salary, comes from the federal government. Simply put, without this funding, I would be out of a job.

My research is in the basic physics of two dimensional systems, such as extraordinarily thin layers of graphite. These systems are of interest for future use in electronics. In fact, at least one company is already making prototypes of such potential devices.

Sometimes on purpose and sometimes by accident, scientific discoveries have increased our quality of life. From the foundations of quantum mechanics, which allow us to have cell phones that fit in our pockets, to Einstein's theory of general relativity, which is crucial to the operation of GPS, basic science leads to amazing technological advances. Who could have guessed that Scrhodinger's thoughts about a cat in a box could one day lead to research on quantum computation, which could revolutionize encryption and data security? In my opinion, this is the most important reason for the federal government to continue their support of basic science.

Finally, I'd like to say that science is cool! I am fortunate to be able to go to work every day with the chance to discover something that no one else in the world knows. I hope future generations of Americans can also enjoy this opportunity.

Ashley D.
December 7, 2012
Ashley D.
December 7, 2012

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is the most common lethal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood. It is a progressive...

Read More

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is the most common lethal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood. It is a progressive muscle disorder that causes loss of muscle function and independence, leading to death at an early age. It affects approximately 1 in 3,500 boys each year. TO THIS DAY…there is NO CURE. However, in many research labs, working closely with doctors and patients, we are developing treatments that will soon alleviate the symptoms and progression of the disease.

Current science is advancing and some of these new advances are allowing us to study the disease and possible interventions in ways we were not able to do only 5 years ago. Cutting off funding would not only stop the progression of the development of new tools in science that are allowing us to move forward more quickly now, but it would also result in treatments never reaching the clinic and the early death of more children.

Daniel W.
December 7, 2012
Daniel W.
December 7, 2012

Under sequestration, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be cut by $2.8 billion and funding for the National Science...

Read More

Under sequestration, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be cut by $2.8 billion and funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be reduced by nearly $600 million. Sequestration will require NIH, NSF, and other federal agencies to make funding cuts that will affect all areas of research and prevent critical projects from being completed at my institution and other institutions across the country. Many labs will be forced to close, resulting in layoffs of tens of thousands of talented researchers. It will take generations to recover the lost talent, as highly trained and dedicated young scientists and engineers will be driven from science by the disruption of their training and lack of jobs. The damage to our nation's health, security, and international competitiveness will be devastating. The research I am responsible for creates new knowledge to improve the health of citizens nation-wide as well as globally. NIH and NSF funding is critical to my institution because the nearly $170 million in extramural support we receive each year is directly applicable to national health needs, provides knowledge for reducing the cost of health care for many, and creates several spin-off companies each year.

John K.
December 4, 2012
John K.
December 4, 2012

Scientific research provides the foundation for technology development and all of the economic opportunities that arise from...

Read More

Scientific research provides the foundation for technology development and all of the economic opportunities that arise from new ways of doing things. It is essential that funding for research activities remain strong; to keep our country competitive and ensure its continuing status as a leader in discovery and innovation. Funding for research that addresses real world problems associated with our changing agricultural systems must not be forgotten. Please provide meaningful support for the agricultural research agenda, as implemented through Hatch funding and the competitive grants programs administered by the USDA and NIFA, so we may remain food secure as a nation and a leading agricultural exporter.

Brian M.
December 4, 2012
Brian M.
December 4, 2012

I am a semiretired pathologist who served at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at the end of the Vietnam War period. The...

Read More

I am a semiretired pathologist who served at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at the end of the Vietnam War period. The funding for basic medical research since then declined, but continued my research in clinical laboratory test development and validation for a productive career.

There has been growth in technology and basic knowledge in the last ten years, anchored in chemical and genetic analysis, and in applied mathematics. The EHR envisioned by Larry Weed, has not made the difference expected because of goals that are dictated by a "repository" mentality and billing, not by observed functional utility.

A decrease in funding by the Federal Government, the uniquely positioned supporter of basic research necessary for the foundation of applications. Many of the University programs that prepare students for the task ahead are crowded with well prepared graduates from Asia, Europe, and wherever scholars are who seek to step up. Some are returning to their country of origin to embrace innovation.

Sequestration fits into a continuing retreat and imbalance of resource application.

Sincerely,

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP
President, Triplex Medical Science
CSO, Leaders in Pharmaceutical Intelligence
Commander, (Ret.), US Navy

Larry B.
December 4, 2012
Larry B.
December 4, 2012

In my department, the operation size has been already reduced by more than 25% due to the difficulty in obtaining grants...

Read More

In my department, the operation size has been already reduced by more than 25% due to the difficulty in obtaining grants particularly for young scientists. It substantially reduced collaborative work inside of the department, and subsequently reduced productivity. Further budget cut could result in a devastation to the department that has been leading the filed of calcium metabolism. Building and maintaing high quality research programs require long years, ; once it is destroyed, rebuilding is not easy.

Tatsuya K.
December 3, 2012
Tatsuya K.
December 3, 2012

In Omaha, the University of Nebraska Medical Center is a major economic driver, and the Medical Center is a major source of...

Read More

In Omaha, the University of Nebraska Medical Center is a major economic driver, and the Medical Center is a major source of innovative health care for all of Nebraska and for much of western Iowa. Without strong federal support for research, there will be great setbacks throughout the Medical Center, which will have damaging and lasting effects. The research in my laboratory, which focuses on the development of new therapies for diseases such as pancreatic cancer, depends on federal funding. If funding is impaired, the researchers in my laboratory will lose their positions, and I will lose valuable trained personnel who have specialized expertise in my research area and cannot be readily replaced later.

Joyce S.
December 3, 2012
Joyce S.
December 3, 2012

A constant stream breaktroughs in science and technological have kept the US a world leader over the past centruy. Federal...

Read More

A constant stream breaktroughs in science and technological have kept the US a world leader over the past centruy. Federal funding is fundamental to keeping this stream of breakthroughs flowing. Federal funding levels are now at an all-time low and I think the US is beginning to eat its seed corn. For the sake of our future, please find a way to support scientific research without additional cuts.

Tom A.
December 3, 2012
Tom A.
December 3, 2012

I believe it is important to continue support of scientific research through federal funds. If we (society) are to continue...

Read More

I believe it is important to continue support of scientific research through federal funds. If we (society) are to continue moving forward with new technology to improve our health and treating diseases, build faster, more accurate or sensitive machines, it is paramount to provide financial support to individuals/institutions. For-profit companies cannot be the only entities that scientists rely on for funding. Not everything we invent/research can be used to make profit off. There are many innovations that are/will be helpful to society as a whole, but may not have a profitable margin.

Catherine L.
December 3, 2012
Catherine L.
December 3, 2012

My research funding comes largely from NSF and supports 8 people - students and technicians. The work we do examines the inner...

Read More

My research funding comes largely from NSF and supports 8 people - students and technicians. The work we do examines the inner workings of the world's oceans, and US coastal waters, and how these affect, and are affected by global climate. With rising sea levels, increasing acidification, and declining fisheries, the ocean is important to all citizens. Besides these obvious reasons for continued support of the ocean sciences, continued support of US is crucial to our worldwide competitiveness. Indeed, I have been in China and India in the last year and have been amazed at the investments in science these two huge growing economies are making. Knowledge is power and these two countries are becoming very competitive in the STEM fields; we cannot lose our long established edge.

Gregory C.
December 3, 2012
Gregory C.
December 3, 2012