Association for Women in Science Action Alert!

Posted: December 22, 2012 in Events, Funding, Policy, Science, Science Communication

Yes, we are all getting sick of hearing about the so-called “fiscal cliff,” and I’m sure we can all agree that the numerous call-to-arms emails and updates from scientific advocacy societies have become almost as annoying as the deluge of fundraising requests  sent during the election cycle. Trust me, I only post a fraction of the action alerts I receive from the various societies I am a member of. That’s all well and good, but I very much support and appreciate the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), and seriously, scientists need to stand up and make their voices heard repeatedly during the time remaining before the countries is set to go over sequestration in early 2013. Other groups have small armies of paid lobbyists fighting on their behalf, only by each of us personally speaking up can scientists hope to compete in these high stakes negotiations of the nation’s future budget and spending priorities.

The Association for Women in Science action alert reads, “At the moment, the situation is looking bleak and there are only 11 more days. Discussions appear to have broken down between the President and Speaker Boehner. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released guidelines for federal agencies to prepare for going over the fiscal cliff. While it is not unreasonable to be skeptical of political theatrics, this was the last thing the administration wanted to have to do unless they were genuinely worried they would fail to reach a consensus before the clock strikes 12.”

Sequestration as it stands will equal (among many other cuts):

• cuts of $2.5 billion for National Institutes of Health (NIH)
• $469 million hacked from the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget
• Department of Energy DOE R&D slashed by $400 million
• $417 million slashed from NASA’s research budget
• $257 million chopped from NOAA
• $58 million from the USDA’s Research and Education budget

AWIS is asking each of us to take just five minutes out of our day and:

• EMAIL your members of Congress, say 3 things
o Who you are
o What you work on and why it’s important
o Why you don’t want to see funding cut and that we need a balanced approach of both responsible cuts and increased revenue
• TWITTER your members who have handles, lists for House and Senate, tell them #NoMoreCuts!
• CALL your members of Congress
• SIGN ON LETTER for grad students 
   o House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.)
   o Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
   o House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.)
   o House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)
   o Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)
  1. Hi Abbey.
    Thank you for posting this and publicizing the Stand With Science letter. It is only when we work together that we can save research funding for the future.

    Best wishes for a secure new year.


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