As the 110th Congress began earlier this month, the scientific community has re-energized its efforts to secure congressional support for increased funding for basic research. Earlier this month, various scientific groups joined forces to secure signatures from members of the House for a "Dear Colleague" letter that Science Committee chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) and Representatives Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) sent to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee. The letter encouraged appropriators to support funding for the National Science Foundation. A similar letter has been circulated in the Senate.

Additionally, on 19 January 2007, USGS Coalition co-chairs Robert Gropp (AIBS) and Craig Schiffries (National Council for Science and the Environment) sent letters to House and Senate Interior and Environment subcommittee leaders requesting that they do all they can to provide increased funding for the United State Geological Survey.

As always, it is important for members of Congress to hear from scientists in their home districts and states. Please consider sending a short e-mail or fax to your member of Congress to ask that they support increased federal funding for competitive, peer-reviewed research. Letters supporting the NSF would be helpful, but support for other agencies (e.g., USGS, EPA, NOAA, USFS) is also important.


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