May 6, 2008
America’s Physics Nobel Laureates Send Letter to President Bush Requesting Emergency Science Funding to Reverse Damage to Science
WASHINGTON, D.C. – America’s Physics Nobel Laureates sent a letter to President Bush today requesting that $510 million be included in the Fiscal Year 2008 Emergency Supplemental Bill in an effort to reverse the damage done to basic science research in the FY ’08 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
After the Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed last year, scientists lost their jobs; grants and fellowships were cut; and facilities operations were scaled back at national laboratories. In addition, the nation’s $160 million contribution to the construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), was cut from the budget, damaging our reputation as a reliable partner for international projects.
The FY ’08 budget sent the wrong message to aspiring scientists who are considering entering the science field. Instead of doubling funding as outlined in the bipartisan American COMPETES Act, which passed Congress by an overwhelming margin last year, it even fails to provide for inflation-adjusted costs.
Investing in basic research reflects America’s pioneering heritage of pushing the frontiers of knowledge and has led to innovation, new jobs and unforeseen technological advances for our nation. If the nation is to maintain its global leadership, the U.S. must launch the next generation of leading scientists and engineers by investing in basic scientific and engineering research, and math and science education. Restoring Funding in the Fiscal Year 2008 is an important step in keeping our nation globally competitive.
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.