Several Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSC Alliance) members and other organizations have sent letters of support for a Presidential Executive Order to promote the preservation and use of scientific collections. The American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Museum of Natural History, the American Public Gardens Association, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the American Society of Mammalogists, the California Academy of Sciences, the Ecological Society of America, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Herpetologists’ League, the Ornithological Council, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, the Society of Systematic Biologists, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, and The Wildlife Society have written to Dr. John Holdren, Science Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, regarding NSC Alliance’s request for an Executive Order on science collections.

The letters support the proposed Executive Order sent by NSC Alliance President William Y. Brown to Dr. Holdren on June 24, 2009. The Order would direct Federal agencies whose actions may affect collections to identify those actions and, as feasible, cooperate with stakeholders to enhance and preserve the collections and to advance access to and use of them by stakeholders. The Order would also establish federal advisory bodies to develop a National Science Collections Plan.

The campaign for a Presidential Executive Order is an outgrowth of a 2009 report issued by the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections, which found that “scientific collections are essential to supporting agency missions and are thus vital to supporting the global research enterprise.” The National Science Foundation . Despite the value of science collections, some collections are facing challenges ranging from a lack of qualified curators to limitations in improving accessibility to researchers. The current economic climate also demonstrates a need for a strategic and coordinated national policy structure to preserve and advance the research and education missions of our nation’s natural science collections.

For more information about the Executive Order, including the proposed order and NSC Alliance correspondence, please visit http://nscalliance.org/?p=139. For additional information, please contact Dr. Robert Gropp at (202) 628-1500 x 250.

To read the letters sent by NSC Alliance members, click here:

American Institute of Biological Sciences

American Museum of Natural History

American Public Gardens Association

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

American Society of Mammalogists

California Academy of Sciences

Ecological Society of America

Florida Museum of Natural History

Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology

Herpetologists’ League

Ornithological Council

San Diego Natural History Museum

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections

Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles

Society of Systematic Biologists

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

The Wildlife Society