The Natural Science Collections Alliance has joined a group of scientific societies in providing recommendations to lawmakers on legislation pertaining to the National Science Foundation (NSF) that assures the federal government is making the investments necessary to strengthen America’s economic competitiveness, ensure our national security, and allow us to tackle the significant challenges that lie ahead.
The letter reads, in part: Federal funding for NSF and research and development (R&D) more broadly should be viewed as an immutable priority. Our country is significantly lagging others when it comes to investing in the fundamental, curiosity-driven research that ultimately leads to paradigm-shifting innovations and marketplace disruptions. Since 2000, our global share of R&D spending has fallen, while competitor nations have increased their investments. By methodically increasing our federal investments in R&D as a share of GDP – and then continuing that commitment with sustained appropriations we will amplify NSF’s capacity to meet today’s challenges, as well as those on the horizon. Such challenges will require a commitment to strong, sustained funding for NSF to provide the agency the financial predictability necessary for long-term planning. Finally, investments in NSF must continue to allow for the development of convergence research the merging of ideas, approaches, and technologies from widely diverse fields to stimulate innovation and discovery.