FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | January 28, 2010

Response to the 2010 State of the Union Address: ACS urges President Obama to continue strong support for science

Comments by Joseph S. Francisco, Ph.D.

President, American Chemical Society

“The American Chemical Society commends President Obama for his continued commitment to advance an ambitious set of policies on education, science and technology, and energy.

“We welcome the President’s announcement of $4 billion in additional investment in education this year, including $1.35 billion in additional funding for the Race to the Top initiative, which is strongly focused on improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. We also appreciate his willingness to pursue a bi-partisan approach to the much-needed reauthorization process for the No Child Left Behind education law.

“We share the President’s vision that we must invest aggressively in improving the way our country uses energy and we support his ambitious and balanced approach. The chemical sciences will play a huge role in creating the innovations that will fuel our leadership in clean energy technology. Finding solutions to meet advancing world needs for sustainable energy is one of the biggest challenges mankind will ever face.

“We also recognize that our nation is facing tough economic times and that the President and Congress must address the growing federal deficit. However, our nation must continue to make the robust investments in federal science agencies such as the National Science Foundation, DOE Office of Science, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Institutes of Health that are critical to our future economic prosperity. These investments will help fuel our economic recovery as they also enable our scientific workforce to continue improving lives in this country and around the world. We also appreciate the steps the President has taken to provide unprecedented levels of funding for science agencies through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“However, we are concerned that excessive fluctuations in year-to-year agency research budgets can have a negative impact on many aspects of scientific research – and on student decisions to pursue careers in science. We urge the President to continue his aggressive support for science and technology as a basis for American competitiveness.”

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