Reducing America’s Investment in Scientific Research Risks U.S. Global Leadership and Economic Growth
March 16, 2017
The following statement from The Science Coalition can be attributed to TSC President Glynda Becker:
March 16, 2017 – “The Science Coalition is deeply concerned about the proposed cuts to science agencies and specific programs contained in the preliminary “skinny” budget released today by the White House and the impact that the cuts would have on basic scientific research in the United States. This preliminary budget breaks from longstanding bipartisan recognition that federally funded basic research and related scientific discoveries are an important driver of the U.S. economy, creator of jobs and essential to a prosperous future for our nation. We recognize this is the first step in a long process, but are concerned that such significant budget reductions at America’s federal research agencies will jeopardize U.S. leadership in science and endanger a generation of new knowledge, scientific breakthroughs, and innovation.
“The Science Coalition stands ready to work with the Administration and Congress to provide information about the tremendous payback on federally funded basic scientific research, particularly research done by our academic research institutions and in collaboration with federal, state and private partners. Research in general, and basic scientific research in particular, represents a relatively small component of the federal budget. Less than one percent of every taxpayer dollar spent supports basic research, yet this research sparks the flow of innovation in the United States.
“Since World War II, America’s commitment to scientific breakthroughs has been a continual driver of U.S. economic growth. The personal computer, the Internet, smartphones are all based on research that had its beginnings in labs and centers funded in part by the federal government. Likewise, the biomedical revolution with its advancement of disease-fighting vaccines and lifesaving drugs and the advance of diagnostic tools such as the MRI would not have occurred without federal support of collaborative research. And, most of the technologies that have made our men and women in uniform the world’s most effective fighting force, all had their start and ongoing improvements in federally funded scientific research.
“Other nations, particularly China, South Korea and India, are investing aggressively in discovery and innovation and are on the path to passing the United States as the world’s largest performer of R&D. We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to prioritize investments that support our nation’s strengths, including basic scientific research, which will create a stronger economy, improve the quality of life, and secure a better future for all Americans.”
The Science Coalition is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization of the nation’s leading public and private research universities. It is dedicated to sustaining strong federal funding of basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation and drive America’s global competitiveness. Learn more at www.sciencecoalition.org.