The concerns of the collections community, including living and stock collections, about the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) decision to suspend funding for the Collections in Support of Biological Research program has captured the interest of the science media.
Barbara Thiers, Vice President of the NSC Alliance was interviewed by Nature about the funding hiatus. “There’s no point digitizing if we don’t take care of the collections themselves. You certainly can’t get any DNA out of an image.”
Science Insider covered the campaign initiated by NSC Alliance and other scientific organizations to reverse NSF’s decision. On March 24, NSC Alliance, the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, and the American Institute of Biological Sciences sent a letter to NSF urging the agency to “reconsider this action, which can jeopardize the long-term care, stewardship, and accessibility of these irreplaceable biological specimens and their associated data.”
In response to the concerns raised by the scientific community, NSF officials have said through the media that “it’s premature to assume that this particular program will disappear, given that the collection program has gone through this process in the past and reappeared as a very vital and important part of our research resource activities.”