ACTION ALERT - Act Now to Protect Social and Behavioral Sciences Funding!

Thank you to all who responded to our call to action.

This alert is no longer active.

Please visit: House Bill Cutting Social and Behavioral Sciences Advances for new information.

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On Thursday, March 13, a House subcommittee will vote on a bill that will drastically cut funding for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate at the National Science Foundation.  The legislation would authorize only $150 million for FY 2014 and FY 2015, a 42% cut in FY 2014 alone. ACT NOW!

Please write your member of Congress following the three simple steps below:

1. Identify your member of Congress:

  • Go to house.gov
  • Type your HOME zip code into the box at the upper right (Find your Representative)
  • Click the Representative’s name when it appears on the next page, and you will be directed to their web site.

2.  Locate the "Contact" button on their website

  • Use the form provided. If you have to select an issue area, select “Science.” If that is not available, select "Budget."

3.  Cut and paste the message below:

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Dear Representative:

I am a constituent and a scientist. I am writing to express my concerns with a new bill that has been introduced in the House of Representatives, H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2014.

Our nation’s competitiveness is eroding due to shrinking federal investments in science, sequestration cuts, and the priority placed on science funding in other parts of the world. The FIRST Act will reauthorize programs at the National Science Foundation, and should create steady, sustained, and real growth targets for basic science research that exceed inflation. The bill does not.

The FIRST Act also singles out one area of science for unwarranted and massive cuts, authorizing funding levels that date back to the late 1990’s. Specifically, the bill cuts funding for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate at NSF, the division at NSF that funds a large portion of the basic science research in my field, by 42%.  At full funding, the SBE Directorate is approximately 3.7% of the NSF budget in FY 2014.

Science includes the study of social and behavioral phenomena. As a result of SBE-funded research, we are learning: how to respond to disasters; improve education, including STEM Ed for our children; enhance the safety of our troops; prevent violence among our youth; improve public health; auction the airways efficiently; create models for water planning to enhance sustainability; and help paralyzed people communicate. These investments are worthy of taxpayer support.

I urge you to oppose the FIRST Act in its current form and push for reasonable increases in federal science investments that at least keep pace with inflation. I also ask you to oppose any efforts to target areas of social and behavioral sciences that provide the knowledge critical for addressing many of the nation’s challenges.

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