Created by on 11/19/2012

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) is joining other groups and organizations, including Research!America, to urge the biomedical research community to advocate against devastating funding cuts facing the nation’s science agencies unless Congress acts before the end of the year. Under sequestration, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) could lose $2.8 billion and would fund 25 percent (2,300) fewer grants. The National Science Foundation (NSF) could be cut by nearly $600 million. “Labs will be forced to close, resulting in layoffs of tens of thousands of researchers. It will take generations to recover the lost talent, as dedicated young scientists and engineers will be driven from science by the disruption of their training and lack of jobs,” said FASEB President Judith S. Bond, PhD.
It is clear that the community is ready to express its concern. More than 8,000 emails were sent to Congress in response to a FASEB e-action alert urging individuals to let their Senators and Representatives know why federal funding for NIH, NSF, and other science agencies is critical to local research institutions and state economies. Several FASEB societies including the American Association of Immunologists, American Physiological Association, Genetics Society of America, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, American Association of Anatomists, American Society for Investigative Pathology, American Society for Nutrition, and the Society for Developmental Biology distributed the alert to their members, as did the American Statistical Association. Congressional offices are reporting that our messages are being heard and encouraged researchers to continue to communicate with their elected officials. On December 4th, members of the FASEB Board of Directors will be going to Capitol Hill to urge Congress to reach a deficit reduction agreement that preserves the federal investment in research.
FASEB also released additional factsheets in the Federation’s series describing the amount of NIH funding in congressional districts across the country with examples of how research conducted at local institutions has improved health, increased innovation, strengthened the economy, and trained the next generation of scientists. More than 90 factsheets covering 138 congressional districts are now available on the FASEB website. These factsheets were designed to complement an earlier series focusing on the benefit of NIH funding in each state. FASEB has asked scientists to use both sets of factsheets when communicating and meeting with members of Congress. The Federation sent the NIH state factsheets to the nation’s Governors while members of the United States Conference of Mayors received copies of the district version related to their city. In addition, FASEB is sponsoring a contest offering $25,000 in prize money for the most creative exhibits, events, and other public outreach activities that highlight the value of federally funded research.