Biologists Urge Caution for Congressional Supercommittee

Oct 14, 2011, 13:00 ET from American Institute of Biological Sciences

Science has been the nation's economic engine for decades; careless cuts could jeopardize future economic opportunities

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2011  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, the nation's largest professional organization of biologists and biological science organizations sent a letter to members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction urging lawmakers to use great caution in considering any proposals that would cut federal investments in scientific research and education.

Dr. James P. Collins, president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, reminded members of the so-called supercommittee that investments in scientific research and education since World War II have yielded remarkable economic opportunities, jobs, and a generally good quality of life for Americans.  

"As was true after the launch of Sputnik, we are at a moment in history when sustained investments in scientific research and education empowers individuals, solves vexing problems, and creates new economic opportunities that will improve lives in the U.S. and around the world," wrote Collins.  

The letter urged lawmakers to work to ensure that stable and predictable funding is provided for scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematics research programs across the federal government.  

As most students who have been absent from a science class will attest, it is difficult to catch-up on course material because science and math builds on itself, Collins stated.  Cuts made to these programs today will have long-lasting impacts.  Scientific progress and our nation's welfare can be seriously hindered by even modest changes to current programs.  You will receive many arguments to sustain particular programs, but those where modest investments now pay big dividends in the future deserve special consideration for a reprieve from major budget reductions.

To AIBS letter is available online at

AIBS is a nonprofit scientific association dedicated to advancing biological research and education for the welfare of society.  AIBS works to ensure that the public, legislators, funders, and the community of biologists have access to and use information that will guide them in making informed decisions about matters that require biological knowledge.  Founded in 1947 as a part of the National Academy of Sciences, AIBS became an independent, member-governed organization in the 1950s.  Today, AIBS has nearly 160 member organizations with a combined individual membership of approximately 250,000.  

SOURCE American Institute of Biological Sciences