Friday, January 11, 2008

Please Help Reverse Lack of Science Funding

If you are a US resident (and especially if you are a registered voter) and are concern about the recent budget debacle in the US, please help!

From: Arthur Bienenstock, President, the American Physical Society
To: Members of the American Physical Society
Re: Federal Funding Alert:

I am writing to request that you contact your elected representatives and let them know that the 2008 federal budget deals a devastating blow to basic research. You can make this contact quickly and easily at:

There, you will find pre-written messages to your Senators, Representatives and President Bush. You may send these letters as they are, modify them, or write your own. While individualizing your letter is not essential, please at least make minor edits to the subject line and the first line of the text of each email so that these emails are more individualized. (See webpage pointers below for further instruction.)

Congress wrapped up the Fiscal Year 2008 (FY08) budget just before adjourning for the year. The budget, which wipes out $1 billion in increases approved last summer for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE Science) and the NIST laboratories, does irreparable damage to science and abandons the Innovation/Competitiveness initiatives of Congress and the Administration.

While DOE Science programs received a 2.5 percent increase overall (exclusive of earmarks), they will decline by about one percent after inflation. High-energy physics and fusion will feel the greatest pain. High energy physics will likely have to eliminate hundreds of jobs, halt work on both the NOvA, the next step in neutrino physics at FermiLab and partially furlough many remaining employees. The Omnibus bill for FY08 also stopped R&D on the International Linear Collider project, an international high-precision step beyond the Large Hadron Collider, and zeroed out the U.S. contribution to the international ITER project, designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy. These actions are severely damaging to the U.S. standing in the international scientific community.

The NSF, with only a 1.2 percent increase for Research and Related Activities, will lose almost three percent in level of effort after inflation is taken into account. Moreover, with new facility projects coming online, their administrative costs will have to be paid out of the research accounts. As a result, university proposal funding rates will inevitably fall.

The request in the attached letters is to restore that funding in an FY08 supplemental appropriations bill, and to support the FY09 budget at the levels authorized in the COMPETES act, efforts that the APS Washington Office are pursuing with both Congress and the Administration.

(1) While individualizing your letter is not essential, we ask that you make minor edits to the subject line and the first line of the text of each email.
(2) If you are a government employee, please do not use government resources to send a communication.
(3) Your browser will take you to a page where you will enter your name and address.
(4) After entering your address, click the “Edit/Send Email button.” A window with an individual email message to the four offices will appear. Click “Send Emails” to transmit the communication.
(5) Electronic submission is preferred.

Since this was intended for APS members, the letter should be modified accordingly to reflect who you are. Again, individualize it to your case. Please do not underestimate the effectiveness of your letter. It WILL make a difference!

Thank you for your support.


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