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FYI Number 131: Novembr 26, 2002

From the Floor and Press Room: Praise for NSF and its New Authorization

The recent passage of H.R. 4664, the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002, afforded Members of Congress the opportunity to praise NSF and to highlight the importance of the research it sponsors. The following are selections from floor debate, remarks prepared for the floor, and from written statements:

"Improved science and math education, scientific innovation, and new technology hold the key to our nation's future economic success, as well as our national security. During its 50 years, NSF has supported the research of more than half of U.S. Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry and economics, and contributed to such breakthroughs as the Internet, artificial skin to help burn victims and the discovery of new planets and black holes." - Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY)

"The bill before us doubles NSF's budget authority over the next five years. It matches the growth of the National Institutes of Health over the last five years. We double budget authority for research and development in the physical sciences and theoretical mathematics, because they support advances in the health sciences and because they are valuable in their own right."- Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA)

"The funding authorized by H.R. 4664 will also begin to address the growing imbalance in federal support for fundamental research in the physical sciences and engineering relative to the biomedical fields. This is a serious matter because, for any field of science, progress is dependent on advances made in other fields." - Rep. Ralph Hall (D-TX)

"Where the rubber meets the road, we have to stop talking and invest, with real money, in the science and engineering enterprise that will guaranty the health, economic viability, and security of our future." - Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC)

"This legislation will provide important direction and oversight to the National Science Foundation to help ensure that they operate effectively and efficiently. It also ensures that we increase research activities at our nation's universities through NSF's highly respected merit-based, peer review award process." - Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI)

"America's technological prowess is unequaled in the world today - which is why, despite our economic slowdown and the financial burdens of prosecuting the war against terrorism and ensuring our collective defense, we still have the strongest, most vibrant economy on the planet. However, our long-term competitive standing and economic security could well be at risk if we do not address a troubling trend line in our workforce, the mismatch between the demand and supply of workers with science and engineering training." - Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)

"This is truly an historic piece of legislation for science policy in the United States that will have profound and lasting effect on the future prosperity of our nation." - Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

"The research results, while not clear now, will reap huge benefits in the future - just as research on lasers and nuclear magnetic resonance led to advances in construction, medicine, and defense." - Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI)

"One of the biggest problems our country will face in the next few decades is the shortage of a home-grown technology educated workforce. In order to circumvent this shortage we need to supply American students with the opportunity to become world leaders in math and science." - Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)

"It always pays to be mindful of the fact - especially in the wake of the September 11 events - that there is a strong and tight linkage between our national security and the level of science and technology proficiency in America." - Rep. John Larson (D-CT)

"Today, with this bill, we take an important step to ensure the well-being of this Nation and its citizens with passage of this bill to double the funding for the basic research and science education activities of the National Science Foundation over the next five years." - Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
(301) 209-3095

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