FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

Next President Urged to Develop and Fund Basic Research Energy Strategy

Richard M. Jones
Number 93 - September 24, 2008  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society were two of the more than seventy scientific organizations, businesses, and higher education organizations who signed a petition that is being delivered to both Presidential campaigns. "We call on the next President to work with Congress to develop, fund and implement a comprehensive, multi-agency, basic research strategy to address our nation’s energy crisis and future energy security," the petition states. It continues: "Successfully developing and deploying a diverse and sustainable portfolio of new cutting-edge energy solutions will require basic research that produces scientific advances that leapfrog current technologies."

The petition effort was led by the Energy Sciences Coalition to which AIP and several of its Member Societies belong and The Science Coalition. The petition was released at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on basic energy research that will be reviewed in a future issue of FYI.

The text of the petition follows:

WE NEED BASIC ENERGY RESEARCH TO MEET AMERICA’S ENERGY GOALS

Strong and Stable Funding and Multi-Agency, Multi-Disciplinary Approach Required

Representing America’s business, higher education and scientific communities, we call on the next President to work with Congress to develop, fund and implement a comprehensive, multi-agency, basic research strategy to address our nation’s energy crisis and future energy security.

Both Presidential campaigns and the media have focused their attention on immediate steps to address rising prices at the pump. However, increased domestic oil drilling, the renewal of clean energy incentives, and increased development of existing energy technologies represent only a partial solution to our nation’s long-term energy and environmental challenges.

The need for abundant sources of environmentally friendly and affordable energy far exceeds the capacity of currently available technologies. Our energy security and our economic and national security depend on overcoming this gap.

Successfully developing and deploying a diverse and sustainable portfolio of new cutting-edge energy solutions will require basic research that produces scientific advances that leapfrog current technologies. Additionally, America must work to ensure a robust pool of home-grown human talent in energy-related disciplines.

Our country needs a comprehensive basic research initiative that:

1. Provides Strong and Stable Federal Funding For Energy Research and Education.
- Increase federal research support across federal agencies, including full funding of the America COMPETES Act, to strengthen and expand existing basic energy research and education efforts at universities and national laboratories;
- Support transformational energy research in which risk may be high, but success would provide dramatic benefits for the nation; and
- Develop new educational resources to support the infrastructure and talent base required to create a clean energy future with dramatically less foreign dependence.

2. Ensures Coordination Across Agencies and Disciplines.
- Develop a multi-agency strategy to coordinate basic energy research, including, principally, the U.S. Department of Energy, working with the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, and Transportation, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Environmental Protection Agency, and others;
- Invest in research not only in the physical sciences and engineering but also in the social and behavioral sciences, economics, and complex systems needed to understand which energy systems and technologies will be most effective and able to compete in the market; and
- Better connect basic energy research to applied research and development efforts to ensure that new basic research discoveries can be transferred quickly from academic and national laboratories to commercial markets to build new industries, create high-paying jobs, and address energy and environmental challenges.

We call on our national leaders to help create a brighter energy future for our nation and our children. No nation is better equipped than the United States to lead the development of the energy advances that will meet not only our future energy needs but those of the entire world, and in so doing create new U.S. jobs and businesses. We stand ready to do our part.

ENDORSED BY

25x'25 Alliance
AeA
American Chemical Society
American Geological Institute
American Institute of Physics
American Mathematical Society
American Physical Society
American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating,
and Air-conditioning Engineers
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Association of American Universities
ASTRA, The Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America
Battelle
Biophysical Society
California Institute of Technology
Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation
(CASC)
Columbia University
Computing Research Association
Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA)
Cornell University
Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL)
Duke University
Energy Future Coalition
Energy Sciences Coalition
Fusion Power Associates
Indiana University
Intel
Iowa State University
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Research Society
Michigan State University
Microsoft Corporation
NASULGC, A Public University Association
National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE)
The National User Facility Organization
New York University
Northwestern University
The Ohio State University Penn State University
Purdue University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
The Science Coalition Semiconductor Industry Association
Semiconductor Research Corporation
Southeastern Universities Research Association
Stanford University
Stony Brook University, The State University of New York
Syracuse University
TechNet
Tech-X Corporation
Texas A&M University
University of Arizona
University of California, Office of the President
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Davis
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Merced
University of California, Riverside
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Central Florida
University of Kansas
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Southern California
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Vanderbilt University

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