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Science Organizations Sponsor Congressional Briefing on Economic Returns from Federal Investments in R&D

Ten scientific organizations have joined together to sponsor a briefing for congressional policymakers on the economic returns associated with Federal government funding for scientific research.

The briefing, “Research That Pays Off: The Economic Benefits of Federally Funded R&D” will be held on Friday, March 16, 2012.  Two sessions have been planned.  The first session is planned for 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. and will be held in the House Natural Resources Committee Hearing Room, Longworth House Office Building 1324.  The briefing will be repeated at noon in the Congressional Visitors Center, SVC 209-209 (Colorado Senator Mark Udall is the honorary co-host).


In a 1988 national address, President Reagan asked Congress to increase spending on research, calling it “an indispensible investment in America’s future.” President Obama has said science is “essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, and our environment.”  But the federal share of research spending is now half of what it was in the 1950s.  With China’s investment in state-funded R&D on track to eclipse that of the U.S. in coming decades, our global status as number one in science is at risk. What consequences will this have for our long-term economic productivity and the future of American industry?  In this briefing, an engaging panel will discuss the critical contributions that federal R&D have made to American industry in recent decades, how federally-funded R&D could continue to return dividends, and what effect this investment could have on long term economic prosperity.  It turns out that many of the great economic engines of recent times had their start as federally funded initiatives.



Vijay Vaitheeswaran, Correspondent, The Economist


Dr. Fred Block, Research Professor of Sociology, University of California at Davis

Dr. Katie Hunt, R&D Director, Innovation Sourcing & Sustainable Technologies, The Dow Chemical Company

Simon Tripp, Senior Director, Technology Partnership Practice, Battelle Memorial Institute

Space is limited and an RSVP is required.

For 9:30 a.m. in Longworth, please RSVP to

For Noon in SVC, please RSVP to

Sponsoring organizations:

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • American Sociological Association (ASA)
  • American Statistical Association (ASA)
  • Geological Society of America (GSA)
  • University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
Science Organizations Sponsor Congressional Briefing on Economic Returns from Federal Investments in R&D
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