April 28, 2009

APS Commends President Obama’s Commitment to Greater Investment in Scientific Research, Innovation and Education

President calls for investment to surpass record set at height of space race in 1964 to tackle nation’s challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C. — American Physical Society commends President Obama’s commitment to doubling the budgets at key science and technology agencies;  implementing policies that will enhance science and math education; and laying the foundation for directing more than 3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product to investments in research and development.  Such investments will ensure that the U.S. develops effective solutions to challenges in energy, health care and the environment.  It will allow America to reassert its leadership in scientific research and innovation, enabling our nation to compete successfully in the 21st century global economy.

During his speech at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences on April 27, the President pledged to complete the 10-year doubling of the budgets of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology.  He stated, “The commitment I am making today will fuel our success for another 50  years.  That is how we will ensure that our children and their children will look back on this generation’s work as that which defined the progress and delivered the prosperity of the 21st century.”

Michael Lubell, APS director of public affairs, called the speech “extraordinarily forward looking and uplifting.”  He said, “I cannot recall any President ever placing so much faith in American science.  It is now up to the community to deliver the goods.”

In addition to outlining his commitments to science research, innovation and education, the President assured that nation that “the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over.”  He said that his administration would engage the scientific community public policy decisions through the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), with which he planned to work closely. The Council will be co-chaired by Harold Varmus, Eric Lander and the President’s Science Advisor John Holdren, who is an APS Member and Fellow of the Society.

About APS

The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 53,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.