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 $10.2 billion in FY 2022 and highlighting the importance and role of natural history collections.
The testimony reads, in part: “Collections are a critical resource for advancing the knowledge needed to address current global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pandemics. The COVID-19 crisis has illustrated how inextricably linked humans are to the natural world. Biological collections, their extended data, and the experts that build and study them are globally important for understanding where viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 exist in nature or when they cross from their current hosts to humans.”
The testimony also highlights recent reports from the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN), the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), and the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections (IWGSC) that emphasize the value of mobilizing biodiversity specimens and data in spurring new scientific discoveries. “The NASEM, BCoN, and IWGSC reports, articulate a common vision of the future of biological collections and define a need to broaden and deepen the collections and associated data to realize the potential for biodiversity collections to inform 21st century science,” reads the testimony.