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We encourage APS members and the public to join us in our advocacy efforts. Constituent contact can have a real impact when it's time for your senators and representatives to cast their vote or sponsor a bill. Our Action Center makes it easy to get in contact and make your voice heard.
Over 4,000 APS members and members of the public have contacted Congress through our Action Center so far in 2022.
The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 — the most important science and innovation bill in more than a decade — significantly increased authorized funding to federal science agencies and included three key provisions that APS has pushed for years to advance.
Reps. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) and Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) introduced H.R. 8993, the Methane Emissions Mitigation R&D Act in September 2022. Informed by the APS-Optica joint report, this bill establishes a research, development, and demonstration program at the Department of Energy to support technologies and methods that detect, quantify, and significantly mitigate methane emissions. The report provided a technical assessment and policy recommendations to support emerging national and international efforts to reduce these emissions. APS and Optica facilitated briefings on the report findings to federal agencies and congressional offices, including a briefing by the report co-lead and APS POPA member Bill Collins to Rep. Casten in April 2022. APS worked with Rep. Casten's office to inform the draft legislation before introduction.
Sustaining the U.S. as a top destination for international STEM talent and strengthening our nation’s STEM talent pipeline remains among APS’s top priorities. Two immigration provisions that are key to attracting and retaining international STEM talent passed the House in the COMPETES Act of 2022. One provision allowed F-1 visa applicants to express dual intent — allowing individuals to indicate their interest to remain in the U.S. after the completion of their studies. The other created a pathway to permanent residency for individuals who earn advanced STEM degrees from U.S. institutions. We will continue our work to ensure these provisions are included in any significant immigration legislation.
The bill helps address the liquid helium crisis by requiring that NSF and DOE SC establish programs that increase the scientific community’s abilities to recycle and reuse helium — a critical and irreplaceable natural resource.
The bill establishes Emerging Research Institutions (ERI) as a new category of academic institutions, and creates a pilot program for partnerships between flagship research institutions and ERIs. This will help expand research opportunities to physics students at a broader range of colleges and universities, including many students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Nearly 75 percent of undergraduate women in physics report experiencing sexual harassment. The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 included the Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act, passing it into law. This legislation authorizes research into sexual and gender harassment prevention and mandates the creation of uniform sexual and gender harassment policies and the metrics to track their impact in federally-funded research and development..