The Science, Engineering and Technology Working Group (SETWG) organized the letter campaign to call attention to the role of federally funded research in the growing economy. Richard T O'Grady, Executive Director of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, wrote, "The many interactions and cross-over benefits among seemingly disparate areas of science and engineering today make it impossible to know when a funding cut in one area will unintentionally prevent progress in another area." Many people credit the current economic boom to technological advances that resulted from federally funded research projects.
Groups sending letters included:
American Association for the Advancement
American Association of Engineering Societies
American Astronomical Society
The American Ceramic Society
American Chemical Society
American Electronics Association
American Geological Institute
American Geophysical Union
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Mathematical Society
American Physical Society
American Psychological Association
ASM International - The Materials Information Society
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Association for Women in Mathematics
The Council for Chemical Research
Council on Undergraduate Research
The Ecological Society of America
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Federation of Materials Societies
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. - United States of America
National Society of Professional Engineers
Optical Society of America
The Honorable ____________
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative ________:
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the American Geological Institute (AGI), I urge you to restore funding for science and engineering research and development programs in the Fiscal Year 2000 appropriations bills currently before Congress. AGI is a nonprofit federation of 34 geoscientific and professional associations that represent more than 100,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists.
We share the concern of the science and engineering community that in the current rhetoric concerning the federal budget surplus, science and engineering research is noticeably absent. This omission is surprising given that it is widely accepted that over half the nation's economic growth in the last fifty years can be attributed to technological advances based on fundamental science and engineering research. In other words, without adequate support for research today, we cannot expect to realize budget surpluses in the future.
We are particularly concerned by the cuts proposed for the National Science Foundation and the NASA Office of Earth Science. We also encourage full support for the U.S. Geological Survey and for the Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences and Fossil Energy Research and Development programs.
I urge you to ensure the future health and vitality of our nation's economy by restoring federal investment in these vital research programs.
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.
Contributed by Margaret Baker, AGI Government Affairs
Last updated October 7, 1999
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