President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address should include discussion of scientific innovation and its impact on U.S. competitiveness, according to E. Ann Nalley, president of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society. She also says that increased funding and support for science and math programs should be a top priority for Congress and the Administration to combat the growing threats to U.S. economic and technological competitiveness.
“I am very concerned about the growing threats to our nation’s economic and technological competitiveness,” Nalley writes, in a recent letter to the President. “I appreciate your leadership in addressing these threats by sponsoring the National Summit on Competitiveness, hosted by Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez. I urge you to continue that leadership by using the State of the Union address to highlight this issue so that our nation’s energies, resources, and talents can be focused to propel the U.S. along the path of further technological and economic progress.”
Nalley noted that “a growing national consensus is emerging that America’s future global competitiveness increasingly depends upon our ability to educate our children in math and science and on a strong investment in basic research in the physical sciences.” She also said ACS strongly endorses a report to Congress, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm – Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future,” prepared last fall by a panel of senior business leaders, scientists, researchers, and educators and convened by the National Academies. The panel recommended 10 actions federal policy makers should take to enhance the nation’ science and technology enterprise to ensure that the United States can successfully compete and prosper in the global community of the 21st Century.
“The President has recently made encouraging statements and speeches on the topic of innovation,” Nalley added. “Advances in science and engineering have produced more than half of our nation’s economic growth over the past 50 years. Each field of science contributes to our combined strengths and capabilities, giving us the flexibility to explore new fields and apply science in unexpected ways. To nourish innovation in all fields, funding and support for the nation’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and research and development portfolios must be increased and improved. This should be a top priority for Congress and the administration.”
Source: American Chemical Society
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