The biological sciences research and education community is deeply concerned by the July 6, 2020, guidance from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that would force international students to leave the country if they do not participate in in-person instruction during the fall 2020 semester.
On June 24, 2020, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced bipartisan legislation to provide emergency relief appropriations for federal science agencies to support the research community during the ongoing public health crisis.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a new coronavirus relief package, The Heroes Act, on May 15, 2020. If passed by the Senate and signed by the President, this will be the fifth measure adopted by Congress to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We, the undersigned scientific organizations representing tens of thousands of members of the American biomedical research enterprise, are alarmed by the National Institutes of Health's revocation of a peer-reviewed research grant for studies of coronaviruses by EcoHealth Alliance. Not only is this decision counterintuitive, given the urgent need to better understand the virus that causes COVID-19 and identify drugs that will save lives, but it politicizes science at a time when, if we are to stamp out this scourge, we need the public to trust experts and to take collective action.
More than ever before, the country is relying on the scientific enterprise to help guide our path to recovery. Scientific progress and U.S. economic development are vastly accelerated by bringing the best and brightest minds together. Therefore, we urge you to prioritize the immigration of science and technology talent that will spur the scientific breakthroughs and economic growth of the United States that is needed for rapid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) is a national initiative led by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, Natural Science Collections Alliance, and Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections. Through the membership of its founding organizations, BCoN represents the diversity of biological science societies, natural history museums and arboreta, living collections, and other research centers and organizations.
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On behalf of the undersigned organizations, thank you and everyone at the National Science Foundation who are working so diligently during this time of chaos to sustain our scientific and education enterprise.
Meet with your members of Congress to help them understand the important role the federal government plays in supporting the biological sciences. Advocate for federal investments in biological sciences research supported by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies.
The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) appreciates the opportunity to provide testimony in support of fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations for the National Science Foundation (NSF). We encourage Congress to provide NSF with at least $9 billion in FY 2021. Additionally, we request that Congress consider economic options that can help scientific societies and organizations withstand the economic losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.