The Science Coalition is a founding organization of the Golden Goose Award. The purpose of the Golden Goose Award is to demonstrate the human and economic benefits of federally funded research by highlighting examples of seemingly obscure studies that have led to major breakthroughs and resulted in significant societal impact.
ScienceWorksForU.S. is a joint project of The Science Coalition, the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to inform policymakers and the public of the devastating impact that sequestration is having on federally funded scientific research.
Universities conduct the majority of basic scientific and medical research in the United States and, as such, are ground zero for the discovery and innovation that fuels the economy, as well as for the education of future scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers and entrepreneurs.
Close the Innovation Deficit is an effort by the business, higher education, scientific, and high-tech manufacturing communities who are concerned about cuts and stagnating federal investments in research and higher education at a time when other nations are investing heavily in these areas. The Science Coalition supports the effort to Close the Innovation Deficit and believes sustained federal investments in research and higher education are necessary to develop the ideas, people, and innovations that power our economy, create jobs, improve health, and strengthen our national security.
What does science hold for the future? SCIENCE 2034 is an initiative by The Science Coalition to mark our 20th anniversary by looking forward 20 years and focusing on the possibilities of the future.
While we don’t know what the next “Big Thing” will be, we can make some educated predictions about how well-funded scientific research might change our lives and our world. At www.Science2034.org we ask scientists, policymakers and thought leaders to weigh in and tell us what they think science will enable 20 years from now and what that will mean to individuals, society and the world.
State your point right at the beginning along with your connection to the Member’s district or state, for example:
As a resident of [city/town, state] I am writing to urge you to make funding for scientific research a priority.
Explain who you are and how research affects you:
I am a student at [insert university] studying [insert subject] and I hope to pursue a career in …
I am an NSF/NIH/DOE/DOD/USDA-funded researcher who runs a lab that employs [number of people] and depend on federal funding to …
I work at [name of company] and our core technology is the result of federally funded research. Federal research funding enabled us to start our company …
I am/my family is affected by [medical condition/disease] and funding for biomedical research is essential to …
I work in [industry] and I am worried that we are not keeping pace with other nations when it comes to investing in the research that will enable the United States to maintain its innovation edge …
My company supplies [product/technology] that enables researchers to […]. When funding slows so does our business, which employs [number of people]
Provide examples and a personal perspective that help illustrate your point, for instance:
Because of reduced funding, I am worried that I won’t be able to find a research position in a lab while I pursue my graduate work.
Many of my friends who thought they would enter research are now pursuing non-science careers.
I have already had to reduce the number of people in my lab and worry that I may have to make more cuts if my grant isn’t extended or is reduced.
Because of sequestration, I had to significantly scale back my research project, which diminishes its potential impact.
When other countries are investing in research and the United States stands still, I worry about the jobs of the future and where they will be.
Because of the federal research funding that supported our work [years/decades ago], we were able to create a company that today [what do you do] and employs [number of people]. We were lucky. As we face years of stalled research funding, the United States may miss out on a whole generation of new innovative companies.
Close by restating your reason for writing, for example:
I urge you to work with your colleagues in Congress to make federal funding for research a national priority. It is essential to [finding cures/creating jobs/growing the economy/reducing the deficit …]
A Letter to the Editor is a short response to a recent article, and is often an easy way to get your opinions in print. You’ll be more successful getting your letter published if:
It is prompt. If you see an article relevant to research funding, respond right away.
It is related to something the publication recently covered. Draw that connection in your letter.
It is short. State your case succinctly and never exceed the publication’s word limit. If you have a lot to say, consider submitting an op-ed. (An op-ed should not be in direct response to an article, but must still have a relevant connection to news and current events, generally. Generally, you are allowed +/- 750 words for an op-ed.)
It follows the rules. Read and follow publication guidelines for submitting letters.
Sample Letter to the Editor
Your contact information
Dear Editor (or writer of the article),
The recent article on the budget discussed many of the impacts that reduced government funding would have on individuals and the economy. However, it didn’t mention research. Reduced funding for federally funded research affects us here in [location] because our local economy is closely tied to [university/high-tech companies, other].
Explain the connection between research and the local community and economy.
Beyond the immediate economic benefits, we are also affected by the missed opportunities that result from a lack of research funding. When the federal government invests in research, discoveries are made with profound implications for our health, safety and quality of life. Life-saving vaccines, the laser, MRI, touchscreens, GPS and the Internet are just of few of the products of past federal investment in research. While we don’t know what the next great discoveries will bring, we do know that without strong and consistent federal funding for science these discoveries – and all the benefits that come with them – won’t be made in the United States.
If America wants to maintain our innovative edge, create meaningful jobs and realize economic growth, then we must make funding for scientific research a national priority. It is essential that Congress work toward a long-term plan to reduce our budget deficits without undermining wise and impactful investments such as federally-funded research that hold the key to our future. We must do this before it’s too late.
Your name, affiliation
If America wants to maintain our innovative edge, create meaningful jobs and realize economic growth, then we must make funding for scientific research a national priority. It is essential that Congress work toward a long-term plan to reduce our budget deficits without undermining wise and impactful investments such as federally-funded research that hold the key to our future.
When the federal government invests in basic scientific research:
Discoveries are made with profound implications for our health, safety and quality of life. Life-saving vaccines, the laser, MRI, touchscreens, GPS and the Internet are just of few of the products of past federal investment in research.
Jobs are created, directly – for the principal investigators, research teams, lab technicians, materials and equipment manufacturers and others who help support the work – and indirectly, through innovations that lead to new technologies, new companies and new industries.
American industry is supported. Basic research is an essential building block for American industry, keeping it competitive globally. While industry invests heavily in R&D, it relies on the basic scientific research performed at America’s research universities and national labs and funded by the government for its innovation pipeline.
National security is enhanced. Investment in defense research programs has yielded cutting- edge technologies and innovations that have led to superiority on the battlefield, life-saving therapies for wounded soldier and better quality of life for civilians.
The next generation of scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers and entrepreneurs is trained. Research is essential to building and maintaining a science and engineering workforce.
Local communities thrive. Research universities are often at the center of the local economy serving as the area’s major employer and the source of high-tech spin off companies. The presence of a highly educated workforce and a strong innovation sector attracts other business, further contributing to a robust local economy.
Our economy benefits. American leadership in innovation supports U.S. manufacturing, trade and economic and national security. While research accounts for a tiny percentage of the overall federal budget today, yet science-driven innovation has fueled as much as half of all U.S. economic growth since World War II.
America maintains its global economic competitiveness. While the United States still leads the world in global R&D expenditures from all sources, other countries have seen our success and are investing aggressively in R&D to enhance their own innovation capabilities. They have upped their investments while U.S. spending as a share of GDP has been essentially flat.
Americans benefit from discoveries made here. While we don’t know what the next 20 years of discoveries will bring, we do know that without strong and consistent federal funding for science these discoveries – and all the benefits that come with them – won’t be made in the United States.
The type of fundamental research that builds knowledge, fuels innovation and is essential to the economy requires the type of long-term, sustained funding that only the federal government can provide. Yet, the past decade of depressed science funding and the future cuts required by sequestration put a generation of innovation at risk.
Urge Congress to make funding for scientific research a national priority before it is too late.