Why is science funding important? Scientific R&D advances discovery and knowledge; spurs innovation; and improves our economy.  Science and technology have been responsible for more than half of all U.S. economic growth since World War II, according to research based on work by Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert M. Solow.  Investments in R&D are essential to maintaining U.S. leadership in innovation. Here are some noteworthy resources on how R&D has benefited peoples’ lives:

Thank Congress for Supporting R&D in 2018 Budget ↴

The Congress passed and President Trump signed in to law a funding bill for Fiscal Year 2018 that invests in scientific research and development. According to AAAS estimates, total federal R&D spending will reach its highest point ever in inflation-adjusted dollars. Despite an ever growing list of competing priorities, many Members of Congress recognize that funding science and technology is critical to our nation, economic growth and public well-being. This is something to celebrate! Below you’ll find a feature that allows you to write your Senator and Representative and express your thoughts, with some helpful talking points to guide you.

Be sure when writing to make the messages personal – personal messages get much more attention from lawmakers and staff. Talk about your experiences, interests, and why science and scientific research is important to you.

Write an Op-Ed

Consider writing a newspaper op-ed, or opinion story, which can be an effective channel for direct communication with the public, in order to achieve specific public engagement with science goals. Op-eds provide a forum for injecting scientific information and/or viewpoints into a pressing issue, or to advocate for a specific policy aim.  Examples and resources →


Learn how the budget process works ↴

...in 2 minutes: Watch this brief explainer video from AAAS on how the U.S. federal budget is created.

...in 10 minutes: Read our break down of the annual budget cycle.

...in 45 minutes: Take our course Understanding the Federal R&D Budget and get an overview of the steps in the federal budget process, what influences it, how it comes together in the Executive Branch and Congress and how budget politics and science funding interact. [Free for AAAS members]


AAAS Statements and Analyses ↴