In a statement released today, the American Astronomical Society, the largest professional scientific association for astronomers and astrophysicists, has endorsed the House Science Committee's authorization bill for the National Science Foundation, named the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002.
The statement is being issued in conjunction with a press conference being held by the House Science Committee on Tuesday, May 7 at 3:00 pm in the House Rayburn Office Building, room 2318.
The President of the American Astronomical Society, Dr. Anneila Sargent of the California Institute of Technology said, "It gives me great pleasure to announce our Society's endorsement of the NSF authorization bill. Chairman Boehlert and his committee have created a bill that finally allows for long-overdue increases to the NSF budget."
Dr. Catherine Pilachowski, the president-elect of the American Astronomical Society, currently a faculty member at the Indiana University, joined in, saying "The National Science Foundation is one of the most important agencies in the federal government. The Foundation funds the research that guarantees our nation's security, improves the quality of life of our fellow citizens and creates new knowledge that drives our economy."
The statement, released today, is given below in its entirety.
American Astronomical Society Endorsement of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002
The American Astronomical Society strongly endorses the House Science Committee's 2002 reauthorization bill for the National Science Foundation, named the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002. The authorized increases to the NSF budget of 15% over FY 2002 levels and subsequent 15% increases over authorized levels through 2005 will be of great benefit to our Nation's scientific enterprise. The National Science Foundation supports a diverse and growing portfolio of basic scientific research, which has been harmed by a long-term trend of minimal or non-existent funding increases. The American Astronomical Society will work with Chairman Boehlert in his efforts to return the National Science Foundation to a budgetary level adequate to meet its growing goals. Only by strongly supporting a balanced scientific research portfolio can the federal government guarantee the security of our nation, the health of our fellow citizens and a growing base of fundamental scientific knowledge that benefits all of humankind.