In his fifth State of the Union address, President Barack Obama vowed to take action on his priorities despite congressional inaction on a suite of issues. “Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Although much of the speech focused on income inequality, the President did address science. Acknowledging global competition in innovation, the President called for the U.S. to maintain its lead. “We know that the nation that goes all-in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow,” stated the President. “This is an edge America cannot surrender. Federally funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind Google and smartphones. And that’s why Congress should undo the damage done by last year’s cuts to basic research so we can unleash the next great American discovery.”

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) applauded the President for discussing the importance of scientific research in his State of the Union address. “I appreciate the President’s call for renewed investment in our nation’s research enterprise. Scientific research spurs innovation and will grow our economy. Scientific research and quality science education have contributed immeasurably to our nation’s economic growth and quality of life,” said Dr. Joseph Travis, AIBS president and professor of biological science at Florida State University.

“The scientific community is up to the challenge. A sustained commitment from the government for investing in science is essential,” stated Travis in a statement released immediately after the speech.

President Obama also addressed climate change. In his remarks, he reiterated his administration’s position that climate change is real and needs to be addressed. “[T]he debate is settled. Climate change is a fact. And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.”

To view the AIBS press release on the State of the Union, please visit


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