WASHINGTON -- The American Geophysical Union (AGU) today endorses President Barack Obama's 2012 budget request, specifically noting its recognition of the critical impact scientific research has on economic competitiveness, national security and public health. AGU is the world's largest organization of Earth and space scientists.
"While the need to reduce the national debt is real, support for scientific research and engineering is absolutely critical to U.S. innovation and job creation," said Michael J. McPhaden, AGU's President. "As we search for the solutions that will advance our global competitiveness, investments in scientific research and in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education will be 'game changers'."
McPhaden cited "Rising above the Gathering Storm," a National Academy of Sciences assessment of the science and technology enhancements that can help the United States compete, prosper and be secure in the global community of the 21st century. It offers a substantial body of evidence that links innovation, largely driven by advances in science and engineering, to job creation. According to the report, while scientists and engineers represent only 4 percent of the nation's workforce, their work creates jobs for the other 96 percent.
"AGU applauds the President's commitment to increasing support for the National Science Foundation, the DOE Office of Science, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology--as well as his dedication to improving STEM education" said Christine McEntee, AGU's Executive Director. "As the nation struggles to deal with impacts of climate change in everything from agriculture to energy and transportation, increases for the Global Change Research Program that support the new NOAA Climate Service and Department of Interior Climate Centers will be especially critical."
The American Geophysical Union is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization with more than 60,000 members representing over 148 countries. AGU advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. It is accessible on the Web at www.agu.org.