23 November 2016
AGU Science Policy Alert 16-13
As I said in my recent blog post, What the U.S. Elections Mean for AGU…, I know that many of you are wondering and worrying over what will happen to the Earth and space sciences, and science in general, in the face of a new administration and a new Congress here in the United States.
Rhetoric during the campaign was concerning in many ways, and with the election of President-elect Donald Trump and the new members of Congress comes new uncertainties in terms of the strength of federal support for scientific investment, trust in scientific integrity, and the level of support for educating and developing the next generation of scientists. That makes it even more urgent that we all be proactive voices for the Earth and space science.
As my blog post outlined, AGU leaders and staff are working on a strategy for how we can all be advocates for science, scientists, and scientific integrity in the coming weeks, months and years. That strategy includes plans to foster stronger relationships with Congress/the Administration and partners in the private sector, to step up our collaboration with scientific societies and other organizations that share our interests, and to activate the science-supportive public. It also includes plans to have you be even more engaged.
As the first step in that plan for engagement, AGU has launched a petition to President-elect Trump asking him to make appointing a Science Advisor a top priority. The petition is posted on Change.org* – President-elect Trump: Bring Science to the White House – and is being promoted via AGU’s social media and other communications channels. The text is also included below so you can read it before going to the Change.org site. We will be reaching out to you in the coming weeks to tell you more about future steps in the plan.
This petition is not limited to AGU members, or even to scientists; having a qualified science advisor in the White House is a benefit to all of society. I strongly encourage you to join me in signing and sharing the petition, both within and outside the scientific community, and in encouraging your colleagues and friends to sign as well.
AGU is committed to advocating for sustained federal investment in science, for assuring credible science informs policy, and to supporting the dedicated scientists who make it possible. I urge you to join us.
Dear President-elect Trump,
Since the founding of this country, science has been fundamental to the advancement of sound policy and economic prosperity and innovation. Science improves the lives of Americans, stimulates our economy, advances our understanding of our world, and protects us and our families from harm. As you select advisors that will help you to draft a blueprint for American policy, we urge you to make appointing a Science Advisor an immediate priority.
Science is in the DNA of the United States. It plays an integral part in our nation’s security, economic growth, public health, and infrastructure. Appointing a Science Advisor quickly will enable the Administration to maximize investments in science and develop a strategic plan that secures America’s leadership in science. The Science Advisor will assist your administration in driving innovation, and provide scientifically sound solutions to the pressing issues facing our nation today; including updating deteriorating infrastructure, combatting health epidemics, providing clean air and water, and securing valuable natural resources and minerals. Appointing a Science Advisor is a smart investment for our nation and for keeping our position as a scientific leader globally.
Due to the integral role of the Science Advisor, we urge you to appoint an individual with a strong scientific background who understands the rigorous scientific method, the need for evidence-based science, and who can leverage the collaborative nature of the scientific community and the value of scientific research in shaping America’s future.
As supporters of science, we urge you to work with our scientific organizations as you commence the selection process and the important task of advancing America’s scientific enterprise.