The Science Coalition is a founding organization of the Golden Goose Award. The purpose of the Golden Goose Award is to demonstrate the human and economic benefits of federally funded research by highlighting examples of seemingly obscure studies that have led to major breakthroughs and resulted in significant societal impact.
ScienceWorksForU.S. is a joint project of The Science Coalition, the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to inform policymakers and the public of the devastating impact that sequestration is having on federally funded scientific research.
Universities conduct the majority of basic scientific and medical research in the United States and, as such, are ground zero for the discovery and innovation that fuels the economy, as well as for the education of future scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers and entrepreneurs.
Close the Innovation Deficit is an effort by the business, higher education, scientific, and high-tech manufacturing communities who are concerned about cuts and stagnating federal investments in research and higher education at a time when other nations are investing heavily in these areas. The Science Coalition supports the effort to Close the Innovation Deficit and believes sustained federal investments in research and higher education are necessary to develop the ideas, people, and innovations that power our economy, create jobs, improve health, and strengthen our national security.
What does science hold for the future? SCIENCE 2034 is an initiative by The Science Coalition to mark our 20th anniversary by looking forward 20 years and focusing on the possibilities of the future.
While we don’t know what the next “Big Thing” will be, we can make some educated predictions about how well-funded scientific research might change our lives and our world. At www.Science2034.org we ask scientists, policymakers and thought leaders to weigh in and tell us what they think science will enable 20 years from now and what that will mean to individuals, society and the world.
State your point right at the beginning along with your connection to the Member’s district or state, for example:
As a resident of [city/town, state] I am writing to urge you to make funding for scientific research a priority.
Explain who you are and how research affects you:
I am a student at [insert university] studying [insert subject] and I hope to pursue a career in …
I am an NSF/NIH/DOE/DOD/USDA-funded researcher who runs a lab that employs [number of people] and depend on federal funding to …
I work at [name of company] and our core technology is the result of federally funded research. Federal research funding enabled us to start our company …
I am/my family is affected by [medical condition/disease] and funding for biomedical research is essential to …
I work in [industry] and I am worried that we are not keeping pace with other nations when it comes to investing in the research that will enable the United States to maintain its innovation edge …
My company supplies [product/technology] that enables researchers to […]. When funding slows so does our business, which employs [number of people]
Provide examples and a personal perspective that help illustrate your point, for instance:
Because of reduced funding, I am worried that I won’t be able to find a research position in a lab while I pursue my graduate work.
Many of my friends who thought they would enter research are now pursuing non-science careers.
I have already had to reduce the number of people in my lab and worry that I may have to make more cuts if my grant isn’t extended or is reduced.
Because of sequestration, I had to significantly scale back my research project, which diminishes its potential impact.
When other countries are investing in research and the United States stands still, I worry about the jobs of the future and where they will be.
Because of the federal research funding that supported our work [years/decades ago], we were able to create a company that today [what do you do] and employs [number of people]. We were lucky. As we face years of stalled research funding, the United States may miss out on a whole generation of new innovative companies.
Close by restating your reason for writing, for example:
I urge you to work with your colleagues in Congress to make federal funding for research a national priority. It is essential to [finding cures/creating jobs/growing the economy/reducing the deficit …]
A Letter to the Editor is a short response to a recent article, and is often an easy way to get your opinions in print. You’ll be more successful getting your letter published if:
It is prompt. If you see an article relevant to research funding, respond right away.
It is related to something the publication recently covered. Draw that connection in your letter.
It is short. State your case succinctly and never exceed the publication’s word limit. If you have a lot to say, consider submitting an op-ed. (An op-ed should not be in direct response to an article, but must still have a relevant connection to news and current events, generally. Generally, you are allowed +/- 750 words for an op-ed.)
It follows the rules. Read and follow publication guidelines for submitting letters.
Sample Letter to the Editor
Your contact information
Dear Editor (or writer of the article),
The recent article on the budget discussed many of the impacts that reduced government funding would have on individuals and the economy. However, it didn’t mention research. Reduced funding for federally funded research affects us here in [location] because our local economy is closely tied to [university/high-tech companies, other].
Explain the connection between research and the local community and economy.
Beyond the immediate economic benefits, we are also affected by the missed opportunities that result from a lack of research funding. When the federal government invests in research, discoveries are made with profound implications for our health, safety and quality of life. Life-saving vaccines, the laser, MRI, touchscreens, GPS and the Internet are just of few of the products of past federal investment in research. While we don’t know what the next great discoveries will bring, we do know that without strong and consistent federal funding for science these discoveries – and all the benefits that come with them – won’t be made in the United States.
If America wants to maintain our innovative edge, create meaningful jobs and realize economic growth, then we must make funding for scientific research a national priority. It is essential that Congress work toward a long-term plan to reduce our budget deficits without undermining wise and impactful investments such as federally-funded research that hold the key to our future. We must do this before it’s too late.
Your name, affiliation
The payback on federally funded basic scientific research is all around us, yet federal funding for research and development has been on a downward trend for the past decade.
Funding for science is going in the wrong direction
R&D has not exceeded 5 percent of the federal budget since 1990 and hit a historic low in 2013 at just 3.8 percent of the budget. While Congress provided temporary relief from sequestration for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, tight budget caps continue to depress funding for R&D and keep it below pre-sequester levels.
If funding for research continues on this trajectory, there will be serious, long-term consequences. And, if nothing is done to permanently replace sequestration, it will reduce funding for scientific research and development by approximately $95 billion before it’s done, reduce GDP by a minimum of $200 billion, and have a significant, negative, impact on jobs.
Join the effort to explain why Science Matters!
Communicate with your friends, neighbors, local media and elected officials and tell them why it is essential that the United States invest strongly and consistently in scientific research. Urge them to make funding for scientific research a national priority before it is too late.