A "Dear Colleague" letter supporting the Bush Administration's
request for a 14.1% increase in FY 2007 funding for the DOE Office of
Science is now circulating in the House. Supporters of the Office of
Science may wish to consider contacting their representative urging
that he or she sign this letter that will be sent to the chairman and
ranking member of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations
As explained in previous issues of FYI, "Dear Colleague"
letters are used to demonstrate support for a program. This House letter
is being circulated by Judy Biggert (R-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and
Ellen Tauscher (D-CA). It will be sent to Energy and Water Development
Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Hobson (R-OH) and Ranking
Member Peter Visclosky (D-IN).
A similar letter was distributed in the Senate, although so far, fewer
senators have signed this letter than signed a comparable letter last
year (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2006/030.html).
Another letter last year to House appropriators in support of the Office
of Science had 118 bipartisan signatures.
Congressional staff read many such "Dear Colleague" letters.
Constituent support is important in getting a letter noticed and acted
upon. See http://www.aip.org/gov/nb1.html
for guidance on sending a letter to a Member of Congress. This site
also has links to e-mail systems. "A State-by-State Guide to
the Office of Science's Research Investments Nationwide" at
contains useful information.
The text of the letter described in the March 6 Dear Colleague letter
by Biggert, Schiff, and Tauscher follows:
"Dear Chairman Hobson and Ranking Member Visclosky:
"As you begin your work on the fiscal year 2007 Energy
and Water Appropriations bill, we write to express our strong support
for the $4.1 billion in funding proposed by the President for the
Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science in his fiscal year
2007 budget request. This represents a 14.1 percent increase over
"As part of his American Competitiveness Initiative,
President Bush proposes to double federal funding for basic research
in the physical sciences over the next decade. Supporting over 40
percent of basic research in the physical sciences - more than any
other federal agency - the DOE Office of Science is the nation's primary
supporter of research in the physical sciences.
"We face a world in which our economic competitors in
Asia and Europe are making significant new investments in their own
research capabilities. These investments are beginning to payoff,
as Asian and European countries challenge U.S. leadership in the sciences
no matter how it is measured - by number of patents won, articles
submitted to scientific journals, degrees awarded, Nobel prizes won,
or the percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dedicated to research
"Report after report - from the National Academy of
Sciences and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
to the Task Force on American Innovation and the Council on Competitiveness
- calls on Congress and the President to invest in U.S. research capabilities.
The benefits of such an investment to the U.S. economy and U.S. competitiveness
are well known. Economic experts have concluded that science-driven
technology has accounted for more than 50 percent of the growth of
the U.S. economy during the last halfcentury.
"Even as we face greater international competition,
these are exciting times for science in the United States. There are
many great opportunities for scientific discovery, and the DOE Office
of Science is prepared and positioned to seize them. In its Facilities
for the Future of Science: A Twenty- Year Outlook, the Office of Science
has developed a balanced investment strategy to ensure the U.S. retains
its dominance in such key scientific fields as biotechnology, nanotechnology,
materials science, and supercomputing well into the next century.
"U.S. scientists are as bright as any in the world,
but they traditionally have had better tools than everyone else. The
DOE Office of Science has led the way in creating a unique system
of large-scale, specialized user facilities for scientific discovery.
These facilities are utilized by more than 19,000 researchers each
year. Nearly half of those users are university faculty and students,
many are from other federal agencies, and a significant number are
now from U.S. industry. This collection of cutting-edge - often one-of-a-kind
- tools makes the DOE Office of Science a unique and critical component
of the federal science portfolio. Other federal science agencies,
such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science
Foundation (NSF), greatly depend upon these DOE Office of Science
facilities in carrying out their own research activities.
"For these many reasons, we urge you to appropriate
at least the $4.1 billion requested by the President for the DOE Office
of Science and the physical sciences research it supports. Furthermore,
we urge you to focus this funding on mission-related activities, facilities,
and projects, and to avoid using core program budgets to fund projects
extraneous to the President's request. With this funding, the DOE
Office of Science will attract the best minds, educate the next generation
of scientists and engineers, support the construction and operation
of modern facilities, and conduct even more of the quality scientific
research that will ensure the U.S. retains its competitive edge for
many years to come.
"Thanks for your continued support for the DOE Office
of Science. We are cognizant of the difficult budget situation under
which your subcommittee is working, and we urge you to contact us
if we may be of assistance in any way."