ACS President to offer congressional testimony on the NSF merit review

Washington, July 25, 2011 — The President of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Nancy B. Jackson, Ph.D., will testify before the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Science Education on Tuesday, July 26, 2011, about the effectiveness of the merit review process used by the National Science Foundation to decide which scientific research proposals to fund.

“Assuring a balanced portfolio of research is critical,” said Jackson, “especially now as we continue to work to ensure that our federal dollars are spent wisely. We must have that confidence. I believe tomorrow’s testimony will reinforce what we in the scientific enterprise know: the National Science Foundation fosters the overall science and engineering enterprise while empowering the best ideas at the frontiers of research leading to cutting-edge innovation. The National Science Foundation merit review process has been studied and implemented as a gold standard by nations the world over.”

“This hearing is also an important opportunity to reaffirm another critical point,” said Jackson. “In tough economic times, it is vital to spend prudently. In order to do this, we need to guard against becoming too conservative in our decisions. Rather, we must continue to support a portfolio of research that leads to both improvements in existing ideas and technologies as well as to new innovations. Now, more than ever, America needs pioneering research that will create economic renewal and jobs and will train the scientific workforce of the future.”

The hearing will be held in Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., and webcast live at

In addition to ACS President Jackson, the subcommittee will hear testimony from three other witnesses: Cora Marrett, Ph.D., Deputy Director, National Science Foundation; Keith R. Yamamoto, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Research, University of California, San Francisco; and Jorge JosÉ, Ph.D., Vice President for Research, Indiana University.


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