The Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSC Alliance) has submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Committee, requesting Congress to provide the National Science Foundation with at least $9 billion in FY 2021 and highlighting the importance and role of natural history collections.
“Natural science collections advance scientific research and education, and that informs actions to improve public health, agricultural productivity, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and American economic innovation. Current research involving natural science collections also contributes to the development of new cyberinfrastructure, data visualization tools, and improved data management practices. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Office of Management and Budget specifically recognized the importance of scientific collections to our nation’s bioeconomy in this year’s S&T funding priorities memorandum to federal agencies.”
NSF plays a unique role in protecting and expanding access to our nation’s scientific collections. NSF supports research that uses existing collections as well as studies that gather new natural history specimens. NSF’s Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO), Geosciences (GEO), and Social and Behavioral and Economic sciences (SBE) support research and student training opportunities in natural history collections. The NSF is also an important supporter of national biological research infrastructure that houses natural history collections, such as living stock collections and field stations.