AIBS member organization, the Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSC Alliance), has asked President Obama to issue an Executive Order to promote the preservation and use of scientific collections. On 24 June, 2009, NSC Alliance President William Y. Brown sent a letter to Dr. John Holdren, Science Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, requesting the initiation of the formal process required to promulgate an Executive Order. The Order would direct Federal agencies whose actions may affect collections to identify those actions and, as feasible, cooperate with stakeholders to enhance and preserve the collections and to advance access to and use of them by stakeholders. The Order would also establish two federal advisory bodies to develop a National Science Collections Plan.

NSC Alliance is non-profit membership organization of roughly 100 institutions. NSC Alliance works to advance the interests of natural science collections, their human resources, the institutions that house them, and their research activities.

The campaign for a Presidential Executive Order is an outgrowth of a 2009 report issued by the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections, which found that “scientific collections are essential to supporting agency missions and are thus vital to supporting the global research enterprise.” Despite the value of science collections, some collections are facing challenges ranging from a lack of qualified curators to limitations in improving accessibility to researchers. The current economic climate also demonstrates a need for a strategic and coordinated national policy structure to preserve and advance the research and education missions of our nation’s natural science collections.

For more information about the Executive Order, including the proposed order and NSC Alliance correspondence, please visit http://nscalliance.org/?p=139. For additional information, please contact Dr. Robert Gropp at 202-628-1500 x 250.

 


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