Bethesda, MD - The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) wrote to all members of the House of Representatives expressing its opposition to the Government Spending Accountability (GSA) Act (HR 4631). While strongly supporting the bill's goal and the desire to ensure that federal agencies are using their resources responsibly and efficiently, FASEB urged Representatives to oppose the bill in its current form. FASEB President Judith S. Bond PhD expressed concern that, "if adopted, HR 4631 would impede the professional development of government scientists, hamper the ability of research agency staff to monitor scientific developments and make appropriate funding decisions based on new research, and reduce communication among researchers."
In addition, she pointed out that "this bill would also place new restrictions on the ability of federal agencies to support conferences aimed at advancing the national research agenda."
The FASEB letter states that it is important for federal agencies to have the capacity to provide support for a variety of scientific meetings and conferences. Many volunteer-led organizations serving patients, the public, and the research community administer multiple conferences per year. Dr. Bond emphasized the value of these meetings to the government and the public. "These conferences facilitate the public dissemination of research findings and support the training and professional development of the next generation of scientists. By partnering with private organizations, federal agencies are able to reach broader audiences at a lower cost while promoting the public private partnership that has been a key part of the successful research enterprise."
FASEB is composed of 26 societies with more than 100,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. Celebrating 100 Years of Advancing the Life Sciences in 2012, FASEB is rededicating its efforts to advance health and well-being by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.