A group of 70 scientific organizations, including the American Institute of Biological Sciences, have expressed concerns with a bill pending in the U.S. Senate that would further restrict the ability of federal employees to attend conferences. In a letter sent to members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the organizations stated, “The Coburn-Heitkamp substitute to S. 1347, Conference Accountability Act of 2013 would raise existing barriers and perpetuate unintended negative consequences the Administration’s regulations have already imposed on our scientific enterprise and national competitiveness.”
Existing regulations on conferences have resulted in decreased attendance by federal employees and contractors at scientific and technical conferences. Several scientific meetings were canceled in 2013 as a result. The pending bill would likely further diminish turnout.
S. 1347 was approved by the Homeland Security Committee on 30 July 2014.
Read the letter at www.aibs.org/position-statements/2014072970organization.html.
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