June 13, 2012

The Honorable Harold Rogers
Committee on Appropriations
H-307, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Norm Dicks
Committee on Appropriations
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Frank Wolf
Committee on Appropriations
H-310, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Chaka Fattah
Committee on Appropriations
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Rogers, Chairman Wolf, Ranking Member Dicks, and Ranking Member Fattah,

Thank you for your strong and enduring support for scientific research, particularly for the important investments in the National Science Foundation (NSF) that were included in the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2013 (H.R. 5326).

As you know, H.R. 5326 would provide the NSF with $7.3 billion in fiscal year 2013. The scientific research funded by the NSF is critically important to our global competitiveness now and into the future. Moreover, NSF supported research will contribute significantly to the solution of society's greatest challenges, grow our economy, and create new knowledge.

Despite the strong investment H.R. 5326 would make in basic research and science education, one provision of the legislation is troubling. Amendment 1094, which was agreed to during floor debate of the bill, would prohibit the use of funds for NSF's Political Science Program. NSF's Division of Social and Economic Sciences supports key research that provides insights into human behavior, decision-making, and social systems. This research has shed light on strategies to combat terrorism, creation and stability of democratic governments, and improving the effectiveness of economic sanctions on foreign governments. We urge you to work to remove this policy provision during the conference process with the Senate.

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is a nonprofit scientific association dedicated to advancing biological research and education for the welfare of society. Founded in 1947 as a part of the National Academy of Sciences, AIBS became an independent, member-governed organization in the 1950s. AIBS is sustained by a robust membership of individual biologists and approximately 160 professional societies and scientific organizations. AIBS works to ensure that the public, legislators, funders, and the community of biologists have access to and use information that will guide them in making informed decisions about matters that require biological knowledge.

Again, thank you for your leadership in supporting the National Science Foundation. If AIBS may be of further assistance to you on this or any other matter, please contact Dr. Robert Gropp, AIBS Director of Public Policy at 202-628-1500.


Richard O'Grady, Ph.D.
Executive Director

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