January 18, 2019

Support Science: Fund the Federal Government

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) wants federal employees, including thousands of scientists, being hurt by the continuing political impasse and failure to fund the federal government to know that they are not forgotten. Not forgotten also are the countless individuals being harmed because contracts are not being funded and new grants are not being awarded to carry forward research and science education programs.

AIBS President, Dr. Charles B. Fenster, emphasized that we all know dedicated scientists who work for the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, United States Geological Survey, National Park Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, National Institutes of Standards and Technology, State Department, Census Bureau, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "I encourage all of us to keep our colleagues in our thoughts and to reach out to them as they continue to endure this unwarranted penalty," said Fenster.

"This shutdown is irresponsible and it is doing real harm to people, the economy, and science," said Dr. Robert Gropp, AIBS Executive Director. "It is past time to open the government. Political fights over a wall can be conducted without destroying the morale of public servants, threatening people's well-being, and damaging the economy. It is reprehensible to demand that federal workers be called to work without pay simply to mask the real negative impacts of this failure to govern."

As described in a 2016 AIBS report, the "Federal government is the main supporter of basic research in the United States, providing more than half of funding." More than 80,000 patents were awarded in a ten-year period based on the results of research originally sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Over the past 50 years, roughly half of the economic growth at private businesses has been due to advances in knowledge resulting from research and development.

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Read more AIBS Position Statements

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