Created by on 03/14/2011

On March 11th, William T. Talman, M.D., President of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), was one of a select group of individuals invited to testify during the House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee public witness hearing on the fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget. Dr. Talman spoke in support of increased funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), explaining that “strong and sustained investment in NSF enables transformational research and training essential to the future success and competitiveness of the U.S.” FASEB supports a FY 2012 appropriation of $7.8 billion for NSF.

Noting that he was speaking as a biomedical scientist and a practicing neurologist, the FASEB President discussed NSF projects that have had implications for the medical field. He cited scientific advances in imaging technologies, synthetic biology research to improve production of therapeutics, and robotics research to revolutionize surgical procedures as examples of NSF-funded work that was critical to medicine. “NSF research creates the foundation for new technologies and therapeutics,” Dr. Talman testified. He also highlighted the critical role NSF plays in education and career development for scientists and engineers.


In addition to Dr. Talman, several other witnesses representing a wide array of scientific disciplines testified in support of a $7.8 billion budget for NSF. Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Ranking Member Chaka Fattah (D-PA) were in attendance for the duration of the hearing. Both expressed appreciation for NSF and the scientific community, urging scientists to become advocates by speaking to their members of Congress. Wolf and Fattah also acknowledged that the government’s fiscal challenges cannot be addressed by cutting discretionary spending alone. Representative John Culberson (R-TX) voiced concerns about the ability of NSF to efficiently manage large projects and grant programs.