Subcommittee Examines Draft Bill Supporting Federal Research and STEM Programs

Nov 13, 2013

Washington, D.C. – The Subcommittee on Research and Technology today held a hearing to review draft legislation to reauthorize important research and science programs at several federal agencies. The draft Frontiers in Innovation Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act reauthorizes fundamental science and research activities at the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes for Standards and Technology (NIST), and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). In addition, the draft bill directs coordination of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs.

Research and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.): “Scientific research is essential fuel for America’s engine of innovation.  Research-driven innovation is critical for American businesses to remain competitive and world-class in a global marketplace.  Additionally, educating our children in the STEM fields is crucial to their futures and our nation’s. The FIRST Act discussion draft affirms our commitment to high-integrity science and transparency of research results. As our country continues to face a fiscal crisis, part of our challenge is how to achieve the most benefit from our limited resources - both now and in the years ahead.  We recognize that in a time of tight budgets in Washington, it’s even more important to preserve as much stability in federal funding as possible.”

The NSF is the primary source of federal funding for non-medical basic research. The NSF is the major source of federal funding for many fields of scientific endeavor. Through more than 11,700 competitive awards per year, NSF funds specific research proposals that have been judged the most promising by a merit-review system. Chairman Bucshon indicated that he would continue to seek input from the scientific community and stakeholders as the Committee continues to work toward introducing final legislation that prioritizes research in the national interest.

The following witnesses testified today before the Subcommittee:

Dr. Richard Buckius, Vice President for Research, Purdue University
Dr. Daniel Sarewitz, Co-Director, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, Professor of Science and Society, Arizona State University
Dr. Timothy Killeen, President, The Research Foundation for SUNY, Vice Chancellor for Research, SUNY System Administration
Mr. James Brown, Executive Director, STEM Education Coalition

For additional information about the hearing, including witness testimony and the draft bill, visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website.