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By Tawanda W. Johnson
APS compliments the U.S. House of Representatives on the recent passage of the America COMPETES Act – legislation that boosts funding for the nation’s scientific agencies and strengthens math and science programs. Rep. Bart Gordon, of Tennessee, chairman of the House Science and Technology, deserves praise for his vision and tenacity.
The bipartisan legislation keeps the basic research budgets of key science agencies on a 10-year doubling path by reauthorizing programs in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of research in the physical sciences in the U.S.; the National Science Foundation, which supports fundamental research and education in all non-medical fields of science and engineering; and the core programs of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which conducts research to advance the nation’s technology infrastructure in support of American industry.
“The COMPETES Act places an important marker on the value of science to America’s future innovation economy,” said Michael S. Lubell, APS director of public affairs. “As our nation begins to recover from the deepest recession in more than half a century, it is crucial that we lay the groundwork for job creation and sustained economic growth. Science and technology hold the keys to achieving those goals, and the COMPETES legislation provides the critical impetus.”
The bill follows recommendations cited in the highly acclaimed National Academies report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm. The report noted that the U.S. is losing economic ground to countries such as China, India and Korea, all of which are successfully applying the U.S. innovation model in their countries. To better compete with those nations, the report proposed measures for an educated and skilled workforce and revitalized research at U.S. universities and national laboratories.
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