Global Climate Change
Innovation and Global Collaboration
Science Education and Society
13 August. Diverse learning environments offer educational benefits to both minority and majority students, AAAS and seven other scientific societies wrote in a legal brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court as it prepared to hear a challenge to a university’s diversity-recruitment efforts. The document, submitted by the American Educational Research Association, summarized peer-reviewed scientific evidence relevant to the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
27 March. AAAS urged Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to veto a controversial education bill that would call into question the well-established scientific facts behind evolution and global climate change by encouraging teachers to present the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of issues that “may cause debate and disputation.”
21 March. The association also expressed concern over proposed Oklahoma legislation that would encourage the state’s public school teachers to question the well established science behind evolution and global climate change.
Science Policy and Society
The Scientific Enterprise
9 September. A Washington Post op-ed by the AAAS CEO and U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee) said that it’s time for Americans to get serious about basic science and stop mocking research projects with unusual titles. The United States may risk falling behind in scientific discoveries as other countries increase their science funding, the authors wrote in a piece that celebrated the winners of the first ever Golden Goose Awards. The op-ed was republished by multiple other media outlets.
8 June. AAAS issued a public statement in support of a proposed International Science and Technology Cooperation Act, which would establish an interagency committee, under the direction of the National Science and Technology Council, to coordinate and improve the efficiency of U.S. research efforts.
18 May. In letters to U.S. House and Senate leaders, AAAS and other scientific organizations expressed “deep concern” regarding amendments that would place severe restrictions on the ability of government employees to attend conferences. Such an amendment would “inadvertently impede the free flow of scientific information and the professional development of scientists and engineers,” the letter said.
9 May. AAAS responded to an amendment that would eliminate funding for National Science Foundation political science research by sending letters to key House and Senate contacts, urging them to protect the integrity of the scientific enterprise.
18 January. The association reaffirmed its support for the existing public access policy of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and announced its opposition to the Research Works Act. That legislation would prevent the NIH from requiring its grantees to make biomedical research findings freely available via the National Library of Medicine’s Web site.
12 January. AAAS provided input to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on public access to peer-reviewed publications resulting from federally funded research. Developing public access policies should involve engagement by stakeholders with a range of perspectives, including non-profit publishers such as AAAS.
U.S. Federal R&D Funding
7 December. The association and 126 partner groups called on the White House and congressional leaders to strike a balanced compromise on the looming fiscal cliff and avoid harming research efforts.
7 December. AAAS rallied its members and others concerned about American innovation to share video and text messages on how sweeping budget cuts could negatively impact scientific progress. The “Speak Up for Science” campaign helped to illustrate the potential effects of a budget sequestration.
19 November. In a letter to The New York Times, the AAAS CEO urged researchers and citizens to oppose sweeping budget cuts that threatened U.S. research and development as part of a budget sequestration. “Hope is not enough,” he wrote. “Every scientist, and anyone else who cares about future prosperity and quality of life, must speak up for science now.”
27 September. Governments must continue robust funding for basic research if they are to reap the economic benefi ts of science and technology innovation, the AAAS CEO wrote in the German newspaper Die Zeit. The piece was published in advance of his appearance at the Falling Walls Conference.
27 September. In an op-ed, AAAS warned that across-the-board budget cuts under a sequestration scenario could cripple key areas of science. The piece, co-authored by the AAAS CEO and Kent Kresa, chairman emeritus of the Northrop Grumman Corporation and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology, was distributed by the McClatchy news wire and republished by a halfdozen other media outlets.
12 July. AAAS joined more than 3,000 national, state and local organizations in warning members of Congress and President Obama that automatic budget cuts would have devastating effects on research.