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AIBS and ESA Letter to House Appropriators in Support of FY 2007 NSF Appropriations

May 3, 2006

The Honorable Jerry Lewis
Chairman, House Appropriations Committee
Capitol Building, Room H-218
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable David Obey
Ranking Member, House Appropriations Committee
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Lewis and Ranking Member Obey:

We are writing to encourage you to do all that you can to fund the Administration's fiscal year 2007 budget request of $6.02 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Administration's request recognizes the crucial role that fundamental, peer-reviewed scientific research plays in driving innovation, creating new economic opportunities, and addressing important societal challenges.

We are particularly supportive of the NSF's Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO), which would receive $607.8 million, a 5.4 percent increase, under the President's plan. Its research disciplines include botany, zoology, microbiology, ecology, basic molecular and cellular biology, systematics and taxonomy, all fields that enhance our understanding of the natural world and contribute to the development of sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. According to NSF data, the NSF funds more than 65 percent of fundamental biological research. It also provides essential support for the development of research infrastructure (e.g., natural science collections, cyber-infrastructure, field and marine stations, and the National Ecological Observatory Network, among others) that is necessary to advance our understanding of biological and ecological systems.

Furthermore, the NSF plays an important role in both formal and informal science education. Its unique programs provide the resources educators and researchers need to instruct, recruit, and retain our next generation of scientists. Informal science education programs, through local natural history museums, marine laboratories and other venues, help citizens better understand science.

We thank you for your prior efforts on behalf of the National Science Foundation and for your thoughtful consideration of this request. If you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact AIBS Public Policy Director Robert Gropp or ESA Public Affairs Director Nadine Lymn.

Sincerely,

Kent Holsinger
President, AIBS

Nancy Grimm
President, ESA

Cc: House Appropriations Committee members

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