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57 Nobel Laureates Urge Congress to Halt Budget Cuts to Science Research


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By: Federation of American Scientists

April 10, 2013 - A group of 57 U.S. Nobel Laureates is urging members of Congress to preserve federal funding of long term scientific research for the 2014 fiscal year budget. Today, President Obama released the FY2014 budget, which is sent to Congress for approval and allocation. With sequestration cuts to agencies which support scientific research and development including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the United States is at risk of falling behind other countries in the development of science and technology.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) released the letter which was written by Dr. Burton Richter, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in physics, and signed by 57 U.S. Nobel Laureates, many of whom serve on FAS's Board of Sponsors. Dr. Richter writes that "there is a bipartisan agreement on the importance of federal funding of long-term scientific research. The agreement exists because of recognition that this sort of research fuels the innovation engine that is essential to our economy. The entire federal research, development and demonstration enterprise amounts today to about one percent of our Gross Domestic Product and has steadily fallen over the years, while our rivals in Europe and Asia invest more."

Dr. Richter underscores the importance of long-term scientific funding for future generations, stating that, "we Nobel Laureates are likely to do well in competition for a reduced level of funding. Our concern is for the younger generation who will be behind the innovations and earn the Prizes of the future."

"The United States has far surpassed other nations in Nobel Prize winners in the sciences. The ability to foster such talent will be undermined with continued erosion of federal support," said FAS President Charles D. Ferguson. "FAS is proud to circulate this letter on behalf of Dr. Richter and the Nobel Laureates to raise awareness of potential budget cuts to the United States science industry and future generations of scientists."

Text of letter:

April 9, 2013

Dear Members of Congress:

With the delivery of the President's budget on April 10, Congress will begin the process of allocating funds to all the areas in the Federal Budget. One of those areas is long-term research and development in the agencies that fund the backbone of the U.S. scientific enterprise: National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology as well as parts of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense. There is a bipartisan agreement on the importance of federal funding of long-term scientific research. The President emphasized it in his State of the Union speech and Majority Leader Cantor emphasized it in a recent speech at the American Enterprise Institute. The agreement exists because of recognition that this sort of research fuels the innovation engine that is essential to our economy. The entire federal research, development and demonstration enterprise amounts today to about one percent of our Gross Domestic Product and has steadily fallen over the years, while our rivals in Europe and Asia invest more.

We Nobel Laureates are likely to do well in competition for a reduced level of funding. Our concern is for the younger generation who will be behind the innovations and earn the Prizes of the future. We urge you, even in these financially troubled times, to keep the budgets of the agencies that support science at a level that will keep the pipelines full of the younger generation upon whom our economic vitality will rest in future years.

Respectfully,

Dr. Burton Richter
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
1976 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Peter Agre
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
2003 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Sidney Altman
Yale University
1989 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Kenneth J. Arrow
Stanford University
1972 Nobel Prize in economic science

Dr. David Baltimore
California Institute of Technology
1975 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Bruce Beutler
UT Southwestern Medical Center
2011 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. J. Michael Bishop
University of California, San Francisco
1989 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Gunter Blobel
The Rockefeller University
1999 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Michael Brown
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
1985 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Thomas Cech
University of Colorado Boulder
1989 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Martin Chalfie
Columbia University
2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Stanley Cohen
Vanderbilt University
1986 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Leon N. Cooper
Brown University
1972 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. James W. Cronin
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
1980 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Robert Curl Jr.
Rice University
1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Johann Deisenhofer
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Andrew Fire
Stanford University School of Medicine
2006 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Jerome Friedman
MIT
1990 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Walter Gilbert
Harvard University Professor Emeritus
1980 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Sheldon Lee Glashow
Harvard University
1979 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Roy Glauber
Harvard University
2006 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Carol Greider
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
2009 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. David J. Gross
University of California, Santa Barbara
2004 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Roger Guillemin
Salk Institute
1977 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. John L. Hall
University of Colorado
2005 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Leland Hartwell
Center for Sustainable Health, Arizona State University
2001 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Dudley R. Herschbach
Harvard University
1986 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Roald Hoffmann
Cornell University
1981 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Louis J. Ignarro
UCLA School of Medicine
1998 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle
MIT
2001 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Brian Kobilka
Stanford University School of Medicine
2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Walter Kohn
University of California, Santa Barbara
1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Roger Kornberg
Stanford University School of Medicine
2006 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Robert Lefkowitz
Duke University Medical Center
2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Eric Maskin
Harvard University
2007 Nobel Prize in economic science

Dr. John Mather
University of Maryland and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
2006 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Craig Mello
University of Massachusetts Medical School
2006 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Mario Molina
University of California San Diego
1985 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Dr. Ferid Murad
George Washington University
1998 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Douglas Osheroff
Stanford University
1996 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Martin Perl
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
1995 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Saul Perlmutter
University of California, Berkley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
2011 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. William Phillips
Joint Quantum Institute
1997 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. David Politzer
Caltech
2004 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Adam Riess
Johns Hopkins University
2011 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Richard Roberts
New England Biolabs
1993 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Brian P. Schmidt
The Australian National University
2011 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Phillip Sharp
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
1993 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Hamilton Smith
J. Craig Venter Institute
1978 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. George F. Smoot
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
2006 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Thomas Steitz
Yale University
2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dr. Steven Weinberg
University of Texas at Austin
1979 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Carl E. Wieman
University of British Columbia
2001 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Eric Wieschaus
Princeton University
1995 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Torsten Wiesel
Rockefeller University
1981 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

Dr. Frank Wilczek
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2004 Nobel Prize in physics

Dr. Robert W. Wilson
Bell Laboratories
1978 Nobel Prize in physics

 

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