FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

Of Note: Selected Quotations from FYI in 2011

Richard M. Jones
Number 2 - January 6, 2012  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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“Given the difficult economic times we’ve been facing for the past few years, I believe it is more important than ever for us to invest in scientific research and math and science education.” – Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) following the enactment of the America COMPETES reauthorization act.

“At a time of nearly 10 percent unemployment, this legislation is more important than ever. The process for putting together this legislation could serve as a model: Getting the recommendations of experts and working together step-by-step in a bipartisan way.” – Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on COMPETES

“Our great strengths as a country have been in our openness to ideas and talent, our capacity to innovate, our excellence in higher education, a willingness to invest public resources strategically in scientific research and discovery, and the political will to confront challenges with wisdom and force.” – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

“We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.” – President Barrack Obama in his State of the Union

“While appropriate investments in science and technology are important, they must be made prudently within the confines of a disciplined budget.” – Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) reacting to State of the Union

“As the President said, ‘We do big things.’  However we must work hard if we want to continue to do big things in this country and remain the most innovative and sustainable economy in the world.” – Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

“This is a budget that our nation can be proud of.” – OSTP Director John Holdren commenting on FY 2012 request

“We are really devoted to you.” - Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) during NASA appropriations hearing

“What I want to do is beat everybody else. I want to make sure that America is number one. . . . I think the view has always better from the top.” – Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) during NASA appropriations hearing

 “If my doctor told me I had cancer, I wouldn’t scour the country to find someone to tell me that I don’t need to worry about it. Just because I didn’t feel gravely ill yet, I wouldn’t assume that my doctor was falsifying the data. And if my doctor said he didn’t know how long I had to live, I wouldn’t say, well, if he’s uncertain about that, he’s probably wrong about the whole thing.” – Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) on climate change skeptics

“This has been a tragic weekend” – Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) commenting on Japan’s earthquake

“The U.S. faces a choice. . . .  will we outcompete the rest of the world, or fall behind?” – Energy Secretary Steven Chu

“I’m concerned that the future of our space program is in very serious jeopardy.  It has been ever since the President ran a line through the word ‘Constellation.’” – Rep. Hall

“If only we could get this it would be terrific” – William Brinkman, Director of the Office of Science of the Department of Energy on the FY 2012 budget request

“Very, very, very important.” – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) commenting on NIST’s work in support of U.S. manufacturing

“I don’t think we are in sync on how we get there.” – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) on NASA’s new human spaceflight program  

“I’ve heard it said at home we don’t want you guys going to the moon or to Mars or to some other mark out there until we can go to the grocery store.  And I guess that’s what is going to guide us here – the economy.” – Rep. Hall

“Nanotechnology represents a great deal of promise for the future of the U.S. economy, both in terms of leaps and bounds in the scientific knowledge base and in terms of potential products and employment opportunities as the technology continues to mature. Many believe it has the potential to be the next industrial revolution leading to significant social and economic impact.” - Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)

“Federal investments in nanotechnology research have already led to job creation in my state and across the nation, and I believe the potential for return on our relative modest federal investment is many times what we’ve already witnessed.” – Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)

“He has always been an absolute straight shooter, and I really, really prize that.” – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) when describing Thomas D'Agostino, Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration

“I am committed to doing everything we can with regard to funding the scientists.” – Rep. Wolf

“. . . the tendency of the market to supply too little of certain types of R&D provides a rationale for government intervention; and no matter how good the policy environment, ultimately, big new ideas are often rooted in well-executed R&D.” - Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke

“The legitimate questions that have been raised about the processes used to generate climate change science and policy have thus far been cast aside. The reluctance to engage in conversations with people who have doubts or question the veracity of climate science is at the heart of the wrong doing that undermines trust in climate change science.”  - Rep. Hall

“Congress should acknowledge that we are not the experts, and that allowing partisan politics to dictate the scientific understanding of climate change is cynical, short-sighted, and, by definition, ignorant. I implore my colleagues to recognize the value of research, and resist efforts to defund and destroy the very scientific community that will give us answers.” - Rep. Johnson

“That’s the big deal.” – Energy Secretary Chu on describing research to reduce the cost of photovoltaic solar energy by 75 percent

“This is a fair bill that recognizes the stark fiscal reality that faces our country. The subcommittee has worked hard to ensure that our highest priorities - defense of our country and support for American innovation and competitiveness - receive critical funding.” – Rep. Frelinghuysen on FY 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.

“We want to do it, but we want to do it in the right way.” – Rep. Wolf explaining decision to terminate FY 2012 funding for James Webb Space Telescope

“And I just tell you, if we can't cut here, I don't know where we're going to cut, I really don't. The gentleman made the point that we are down to 2006 levels. Great. We ought to go further than that. I mean, 2006, we act as if that was a Great Depression year, ‘Grapes of Wrath’ music playing or something. It wasn't exactly that. We have seen ramping up year after year after year in some of these programs. We are spending more than we ever have.” – Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on overall funding in FY 2012 House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill

“We're not going to compete with the rest of the world on wages. We're not going to compete with the Third World on wages. We have to compete in the area of productivity. And we can't be the most productive nation on Earth unless we invest in science and technology.” - Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)

“I want to get it right.” – NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on future Space Launch System

“Pay attention to this.  This is a big deal.” – Energy Secretary Chu on Quadrennial Technology Review

“Robust, rigorous, and beyond reproach.” – NSF Deputy Director Cora Merrett on foundation’s grant selection process

“Today, the biggest science questions remain unanswered - the nature of the mysterious dark matter, the origin and longevity of atoms, and the properties of neutrinos - and the opportunity for the U.S. to lead remains if it builds an underground lab.”  - University of Chicago professor and American Physical Society Vice President Michael Turner

“So come on. If we want to be America the exceptional, stop nickel-and-diming. One of the ways you deal with debt is a growing economy, restoring consumer confidence, restoring citizen confidence, No. 1, that we can govern ourselves and that we can govern ourselves in a smart fashion. Yes, we do need to be frugal, but we sure do not need to be stupid.” – Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

“I have yet to be convinced that there is a sufficient commercial market that will sustain multiple private, for-profit commercial crew companies through the duration of America’s commitment to the International Space Station. NASA seemingly takes the position of ‘build it and they will come’; that by starting these companies first, business will soon follow.” – Rep. Hall

“I and other Members will have to decide whether it is worth paying a $6 billion premium in taxpayer dollars in order to have a domestic ISS commercial crew capability available to replace the Russian system for a four-year period -- assuming the U.S. commercial crew systems are certified operational by 2016. Now I would rather not pay money to the Russians either, but I will find it very hard to justify to my constituents spending an extra $6 billion to transport our astronauts to the ISS for a limited amount of time unless I can also credibly argue that doing so will open up a broad new competitive market in commercial crew transportation for American industry.” – Rep. Johnson

“Research is a primary driver of innovation, growth and job creation, and these investments must be preserved, even in times of budgetary austerity.” – Rep. Wolf

“The conundrum now facing NASA is selecting a mission that is the next logical step in our exploration of Mars, and how to pay for it.”  - Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS)

“These kinds of cost overruns are killing the program.” – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) on James Webb Space Telescope and Space Launch System

“So, as we go forward in these fiscally challenging times, it is essential for scientists, while advocating for their own fields, to come together to support science broadly. Doing so will keep America on pace in our increasingly competitive world. It will sustain our strength and prosperity, and maintain our place in discovering... innovating... leading.” – William Brinkman

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