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

While our runaway debt might be the greatest economic threat America has face since the great depression, I don't believe the...

Read More

While our runaway debt might be the greatest economic threat America has face since the great depression, I don't believe the cutting of R and D should be part of the solution. It is research and development that both drives innovation's that lead to economic advancement and indeed entirely new economies in and of themselves such as we have seen with some examples being the emergence of the internet, and the inception of smartphones, which is a now almost ambivalent device that has sadly gone towards the feeding of many jobs overseas that should have been American. More importantly, it is also research and development that leads Americans, and mankind in general, to hope for a better future, that gives true, concrete, non-delusion fueled hope that the great tomorrow might honestly be better than what we experience today. And this is the primary reason why I believe so large a cut in research and development, especially in economic times such as this, would be unwise. It is not just an economic matter, but a spiritual one.

John L.
January 2, 2013
John L.
January 2, 2013

As a MD thinking of pursuing science, the funding cuts will discourage many from making that switch as it becomes a bigger...

Read More

As a MD thinking of pursuing science, the funding cuts will discourage many from making that switch as it becomes a bigger gamble than it has to be. Keep the funding trajectory so that me and my peers can envision careers in science. With fewer curious creative clinicians willing to take the plunge or less willing to try risky ideas, our patients will be the ones paying that price in the long term.

Joanne N.
December 31, 2012
Joanne N.
December 31, 2012

As a graduate student, I am fortunate enough to have been awarded a federal research fellowship. Such merit-based fellowships...

Read More

As a graduate student, I am fortunate enough to have been awarded a federal research fellowship. Such merit-based fellowships are crucial for providing premiere opportunities for students. If we as a nation are hopeful to remain leaders in science and technology, funding and support for our students as well as research enterprises as a whole should not attenuate. Everyone in our neuroscience laboratory is dependent upon federal funding and any reduction in funding impacts our efficiency and the timeliness of our work. Focusing on traumatic memory, our lab is tied directly to PTSD and its treatment. Research backed by federal investment produces jobs for highly-skilled workers and can offer solutions for society's most serious of problems. I implore our leaders and decision makers to continue to support scientific and technological progression in the United States by backing research funding.

Travis G.
December 31, 2012
Travis G.
December 31, 2012

I would like to add my name to those urging the Congress to do what is necessary for a reasonable compromise that avoidst he...

Read More

I would like to add my name to those urging the Congress to do what is necessary for a reasonable compromise that avoidst he sequestration cuts. Basic science research collectively supported is the enabling foundation for all applied product research. These financial cuts to research will hurt us economically for decades. We need to find compromise position that avoids or at least minimizes these cuts.

Michael B.
December 31, 2012
Michael B.
December 31, 2012

I am a veteran, a certified Medical technologist, and a broadly-trained biologist who works at Dugway Proving Ground, an Army...

Read More

I am a veteran, a certified Medical technologist, and a broadly-trained biologist who works at Dugway Proving Ground, an Army Test and Evaluation facility. I agree with Larry B.wholeheartedly. Basic research leads to applied research, and both lead to better lives for us all.

We need to minimize the effect of cuts on basic research, education, and emergency services. Why? Such areas are what have been trimmed several times by politicians in the last few years, locally, regionally, state-wide, and nationally. They have been cut farther than they need to be, unless we want to live in a third-world country.

We do need to lower the budget, but we have protected too many pet projects at the expense of the essential areas I listed above. I can think of several areas that need to be trimmed first.

Wales P. Nematollahi, PhD, MT(ASCP)

Wales N.
December 29, 2012
Wales N.
December 29, 2012

For both short term and long term sustainable growth growth there must be investment in research and development. Without...

Read More

For both short term and long term sustainable growth growth there must be investment in research and development. Without appropriate R&D economies stagnate, and jobs decline. You have some very difficult decisions to make. Please view our total system and act for sustainable growth - holistically. Support R&D.

M. B. N.
December 28, 2012
M. B. N.
December 28, 2012

I am a research associate and I study aging and development. Without NIH funding I would be unemployed or doing something much...

Read More

I am a research associate and I study aging and development. Without NIH funding I would be unemployed or doing something much less valuable. We don't ask for much, and we are doing extraordinary things that offer priceless returns to society.

Jim J.
December 28, 2012
Jim J.
December 28, 2012

Nothing could impede economic growth more, especially in the long term, than cutting R&D appropriations by the magnitude...

Read More

Nothing could impede economic growth more, especially in the long term, than cutting R&D appropriations by the magnitude indicated by the automatic sequestration.

Bohun K.
December 28, 2012
Bohun K.
December 28, 2012

As a faculty member at one of the top undergraduate colleges in the country for the past 21 years, I have trained more than...

Read More

As a faculty member at one of the top undergraduate colleges in the country for the past 21 years, I have trained more than 110 students in my research lab, where we study resistance to plant diseases that threaten our nation's food security. The vast majority of my students have gone on to careers in research, medicine, and public health. A significant number share their passion for scientific discovery through high-school teaching. My lab's cutting-edge research, funded by the NSF for 16 of the last 20 years, has given those students their first experience making fundamental discoveries that help people across the political spectrum. Whether my students go on to study plant disease or human illness, they are our hope for the future. Diseases like cancer, bird flu, food-borne infections, and heart disease affect rich and poor alike, and the modern medicine that saves Americans every day stems directly from basic research; that research requires trained scientists. The US has for decades attracted the brightest biomedical researchers from around the world. But with funding cuts causing massive cutbacks across the nation’s research institutions, those foreign scientists are already being forced to go elsewhere. A failure to train our own students would be incredibly short-sighted; undergraduate research allows our students to develop their passion for research at a time in their lives when they are defining their priorities and choosing their career paths. We need them.

Lois B.
December 28, 2012
Lois B.
December 28, 2012

I am an electrical engineer doing research in signal processing. My group of 12 post docs and graduate students is almost...

Read More

I am an electrical engineer doing research in signal processing. My group of 12 post docs and graduate students is almost totally supported by grants from NIH, NSF, And DoD research agencies. We are in an era where multi disciplinary research provides the cross pollenation that is essential to critcial advances in science and technology. One of my grants, an Army funded MURI on information processing in remote sensing networks, supports 11 faculty and 15 student researchers at 5 universities. The research we do in signal processing is being applied to homeland security, medical diagnostics, materials science, and national defense. A major loss of funding from sequestration would be catastrophic to my group and ,negatively affect our collaborations.

Alfred H.
December 28, 2012
Alfred H.
December 28, 2012

It takes years to train and assemble researchers in a vital area, but only days to destroy a team. China's science funding is...

Read More

It takes years to train and assemble researchers in a vital area, but only days to destroy a team. China's science funding is rising, while US funding has already fallen befind. If the US is to maintain its competitiveness the scientific enterprise must be protected.

Fred S.
December 28, 2012
Fred S.
December 28, 2012

Science represents the clearest path to future prosperity. The government is not the only source of funding for science --...

Read More

Science represents the clearest path to future prosperity. The government is not the only source of funding for science -- the market, and man's inherent desire to discover, are also important. But government funding is a source that, as with the others, contributes greatly to the great river of progress. Cutting such funding may feel like a step towards fiscal responsibility -- but in the longer term, we are only diminishing the scope for future research, impeding progress, and robbing our own future. Don't cut science out of the government!

E S.
December 28, 2012
E S.
December 28, 2012