Recently, several student members of the Botanical Society of America developed an open letter to lawmakers to express their hope that policymakers in Washington, DC, will sustain a national commitment to invest in scientific research, development, and education systems in the United States.
Other science and education-based organizations have signed on or circulated the letter as well. If you are a student, and you agree with what they have to say, then signing on could help strengthen their message. If you are a teacher, it might be something to share with your students.
Part of the letter’s text is copied below:
Federal Investments in Research are Investments in the Future
As future scientists and educators, we, the undersigned students, encourage Congress and the President to make sustained investments in the nation’s scientific research, education, and training programs…
Throughout the 20th century, sustained investments in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) helped build our nation’s economy and improved quality of life for people around the world. If the United States is to remain a global leader, both economically and scientifically, we must sustain and reinvest in STEM research and development.
Unfortunately, the United States is at risk of losing its lead. For years, industry, academic, and government leaders have warned that our nation is losing ground globally in STEM fields…The United States also stands to lose its lead in scientific publications, patents, and other important indicators of the vitality of the nation’s scientific enterprise.
Fortunately, students around the nation want to be a part of the solution. To attract and retain students in STEM fields, however, we must know that the nation is committed to investing in scientific research and development.
Addressing the nation’s current budget challenges is essential, but we must not sacrifice investments in our future. One way to grow our economy is through scientific innovation. Science, however, cannot move forward in an environment where one year brings a rapid budget increase and the next year a precipitous budget cut…
Please invest in the nation’s future through continued support for federal STEM research and education programs.
The undersigned students
Image Credit: Flickr - artfulblogger