FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 05, 2019

American Chemical Society releases 2019 Public Policy Agenda

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2019 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) would like to welcome the 116th Congress and introduce the Society’s policy priorities for 2019. ACS looks forward to working with our national leaders on its policy priorities in a bipartisan manner to advance our country’s interests.

ACS is committed to advancing policies designed to ensure a robust U.S. innovation ecosystem that sustainably grows our economy and creates jobs, while also promoting scientific advancement globally. The Society has established five broad categories of policy recommendations for the administration and Congress.

Ensure a Robust Scientific Enterprise

According to the Science and Engineering Indicators 2018 report, published by the U.S. National Science Board, U.S. research and development investment is being challenged globally, potentially impacting our nation’s global competitiveness. ACS urges policymakers to invest in long-term economic growth by supporting scientific research and development critical to our nation’s global competitiveness, defense, public health, energy security and environmental progress.

Given the long-term nature of research, predictable and sustained funding is essential to our technology-driven economy. Unpredictable budgets lead to a high turnover among trained scientists and a loss of research. Federal investments provide a majority of support for basic research, fostering cutting-edge scientific discoveries, industrial innovation, and the training of future scientists and engineers. The federal scientific enterprise is the foundation of a strong U.S. labor force.

Related ACS Statements: Science and Technology in the Budget; U.S. Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Support Higher Education Research Opportunities

ACS encourages a bipartisan reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) to support teachers; graduate students; and the future Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. Sustained investment in high-quality teacher training programs both strengthen a diverse teacher pipeline and prepare students for STEM education and career pathways across all backgrounds. A renewed HEA would expand the vision of scholarship to promote high-quality research within STEM disciplinary fields and ensure that students have access to deeper study of STEM by guiding the development of programs, tools, and methods for improving teaching and learning.

Related ACS Statements: Science Education Policy

Protect Freedom of International Scientific Exchange

ACS strongly supports the ability of scientists to operate without barriers, impediments, or restrictions to travel in the pursuit of scientific collaboration and meaningful discourse. Travel and in-person meetings are crucial to the nature of scientific exchange in the academic community. Congress must protect scientific education and exchange and welcome foreign scholars, students, scientists and engineers to ensure a robust scientific enterprise and U.S. economy.

Related ACS statements: Freedom of International Scientific Exchange, Fostering Scientific Progress: U.S. Visas for Academic Study & Conference Attendance

Promote Sustainability across the Global Chemical Enterprise and Environment

ACS believes environmental sustainability and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. The chemical enterprise stands at the nexus of ensuring a sustainable world for future generations. Developing cleaner feedstocks, biodegradable products and energy-efficient processes promises to unlock exciting new fields of chemistry, grow our economy and create jobs. In the long term, reducing the amount of waste and single-use products should be a societal and industrial goal, and the Society welcomes an opportunity to contribute to this growing dialogue.

ACS strongly urges policymakers to take action to address the changing climate. The physical and atmospheric chemistry underlying anthropogenic global warming is robust and well-established, and action is necessary to mitigate and adapt to greenhouse gas emissions.

Related ACS statements: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Sustainability and the Chemistry Enterprise

Ensure the Integrity of Science in Policy and Regulatory Decision Making

Our nation is facing a broad array of regulatory and scientific challenges, from addressing climate change to ensuring the safety of the chemicals in our daily lives. Policymakers need access to the best available science to ensure the widest area of choices and outcomes. ACS strongly believes science works best when free of political interference. The Society encourages the development of scientific integrity policies to ensure science is comprehensive, transparent and unbiased. 

Related ACS statements: Peer Review: Ensuring Federal Support of High Quality Science, Publishing: Ensuring and Expanding Access to High Quality Science, Scientific Integrity in Public Policy, Chemical Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decision Making

The Society’s comprehensive policy priorities, the individual public policy statements and related materials are available at

The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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