Our nation’s research enterprise is among the most powerful engines of American prosperity, producing value far beyond the sum of its individual parts. A consistent area of bipartisan agreement over the past 70 years has been the importance of the federal government’s role in supporting research and innovation.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and The Lemelson Foundation have joined forces to create the AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors Program designed to celebrate and highlight the importance of invention and inventors. Join us for the 2017 Celebrate Invention event on July 20 at 5:30pm EST.
American Association for the Advancement of Science CEO Rush Holt wrote a letter to Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to affirm support for the goal of promoting energy innovation, as expressed in the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017.
“Recent economic and policy research show that when the federal government invests in research, that investment incentivizes further research investment from the private sector, leading to innovation, jobs, and economic growth. Indeed, over half of our economic growth since World War II has been tied to science and technology-based innovation,” wrote Holt in the letter.
AAAS greatly appreciates Senators Murkowski’s and Cantwell’s effort to update our nation’s energy policy in a bipartisan fashion and invest in energy innovation. We stand ready to work with the Congress, federal agencies, and institutions of higher education toward our common goals of energy security and affordability and long-term environmental sustainability.
The scientific process is threatened by a lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of more than a decade worth of emails, some private, between two prominent University of Arizona climate scientists, says an amicus brief that the American Association for the Advancement of Science joined on July 17.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is conducting a review of all designations and expansions of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments. As part of the public comment period it is important that decision-makers understand the scientific importance of these sanctuaries.
Have you been to or conducted research in any of these National Marine Sanctuaries? We encourage you to submit your own comments by July 26, 2017.
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson must act swiftly to appoint a respected scientist or engineer as his science and technology adviser upon the departure Vaughan Turekian, who has effectively presented the views of the global scientific community and helped incorporate scientific findings into foreign policy considerations, said Rush Holt, the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in a statement issued Thursday.
Two leading scientific organizations are urging the Trump administration to consider the extensive “scientific, cultural and historical significance” of 27 national monuments placed in safekeeping by three previous presidents in its review of whether to limit or end the protections now preserving the sites.
Imagine this: A cop pulls you over and arrests you because you match the description of someone wanted for a heinous crime. You are innocent, but after being charged and brought to trial, you watch as experts testify with “scientific certainty” that hair and footprints at the scene match your own, and you are led from the courtroom in shackles.
This may seem like a scene straight out of a TV melodrama, but this scenario happens in real life far too often. A number of forensic techniques lack scientific validity and reliability yet are used frequently in our nation’s courtrooms.
The United States federal government serves a critical role in supporting innovation and advancing energy security through its investment in energy research. While we recognize the difficult choices that policymakers face in making investments, the current appropriations bill for the Department of Energy fails to position our nation for the innovations needed to tackle the range of energy issues we face.
The U.S. Department of the Interior is considering abolishing or reducing 27 National Monuments designated or expanded since 1996 under the Antiquities Act of 1906. These monument designations currently protect lands such as the Upper Missouri River Breaks in Montana, the Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, and Craters of the Moon in Idaho. As part of the decision-making process, the Department is specifically requesting comments related to whether the designated land includes “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest.”
Leading scientific organizations are calling on President Donald Trump and his administration to ensure that an ongoing review of the role of scientific advisory boards is transparent and upholds the integrity of the boards’ science-driven information, and that accurate federal scientific data and information is maintained and made easily available on federal agency websites.
We are concerned about President Trump’s announcement that he will walk back relations between the United States and Cuba, and the potential negative impact on cooperation between scientists in our twocountries. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) remains committed to engaging in the exchange of scientists and scientific knowledge between the U.S. and Cuba.
After President Trump released a proposed FY 2018 budget on May 23 that would severely cut funding for scientific research, our members have been busy contacting their representatives. Through AAAS’s advocacy platform, more than 550 members sent 1,687 letters to 330 congressional offices expressing a range of views on how the budget request would impact research.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is seeking nominations of technical experts to serve on the Board of Scientific Counselor’s (BOSC), a federal advisory committee to EPA’s Office of Research and Development.
On April 10, Attorney General Jeff Sessions opted not to renew the NCFS, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Notice of Public Comment Period on Advancing Forensic Science requesting input on how they should “move forward to strengthen the foundations of forensic science and improve the operations and capacity of forensic laboratories.”
We encourage you to make your voice heard on the importance of ensuring that all branches of government receive advice on the best scientific information available, and that rigorous science is used in convicting the guilty and exonerating the innocent. Comments are due June 9, 2017.
The linked dashboard can be used to follow science and technology appropriations for FY 2018. Click on individual tabs to see how different agencies are faring throughout the funding debate, and mouse over for more detail. Currently, only data from the Trump Administration's budget request is displayed; data from Congressional spending bills will be added and updated once Congress begins to take up spending legislation this summer.
Visit regularly for updated content.
From August 25, 2016
Last month, geographer Richard Heede received a subpoena from Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Smith, a climate change doubter, became concerned when the attorneys general of several states launched investigations into whether ExxonMobil had committed fraud by sowing doubts about climate change even as its own scientists knew it was taking place. The congressman suspected a conspiracy between the attorneys general and environmental advocates, and he wanted to see all the communications among them. Predictably, his targets included advocacy organizations such as Greenpeace, 350.org, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. They also included Heede, who works on his own aboard a rented houseboat on San Francisco Bay in California.