Strengthen Science Education and the Scientific Workforce

ACS Policy Priority

America needs scientific and engineering professionals. To equip today’s students with the skills to fill the technical jobs of tomorrow, we must improve science and mathematics education at the K-12, community college, undergraduate, and graduate levels. We also need to encourage talented people to enter science and engineering fields. Workforce policies must respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by an aging demographic, a more diverse workforce, and major shifts in employment practices. ACS supports efforts to

  • Enable lifelong, strong, inquiry-based science education for everyone in both formal and informal settings to improve the scientific understanding of all our citizens.
  • Strengthen the quality of teaching through increased partnership and support of pre- and in-service training of educators from the kindergarten through the graduate school levels.
  • Encourage women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities to pursue scientific careers.
  • Enhance the ability of all scientists and engineers to bring specific technical and non-technical talents to the U.S. workforce.
  • Strengthen professional opportunities and employment-related incentives for science and engineering practitioners.
Statement Position
Science Education Policy Promotes lifelong, rigorous education of science in formal and informal settings and ensuring that all students understand science in accordance with national standards. Encourages state and federal support for science education facilities and teacher education and training. Supports nurturing students of all backgrounds, particularly those from underrepresented groups, in pursuit of studies and careers in STEM.
Healthcare Policy Supports healthcare policies that focus on preventive care, availability and affordability of health plans, universal eligibility, portability of health coverage across state lines, and privacy of medical information.
Importance of Hands-on Laboratory Activities Computer simulations that mimic laboratory procedures have the potential to be a useful supplement to student hands-on activities, but not a substitute for them.
Disabilities Supports ratification of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Encourages international cooperation, sharing of scientific knowledge, and R&D on assistive technologies in carrying out the requirement to implement the means for equal access to medical facilities, education, workplaces, and communications technologies.  
Employment Non-Discrimination Recommends federal legislation to extend employment discrimination protection to include sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity.
Teaching of Evolution Supports teaching of evolution and opposes alternate, non-scientific theories. Urges states and localities to support high-quality science standards and curricula.
Visa Restrictions Supports visa policies that facilitate scientific education and exchange and welcome foreign scholars, students, scientists, and engineers. Supports timely and reasonable screening processes for visits, greater transparency of the application process, and the issuance and management of visas that are more aligned with the purpose of academic study and scientific exchange.
Workforce Related Immigration Encourages continuing visa programs for students and corporations to transfer workers into the U.S. Supports simplification of employer-sponsored permanent residencey for U.S. educated foreign nationals. Supports revisions to the H1-B visa process.