POLICY PRIORITIES | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 91 Issue 7 | pp. 54-55
Issue Date: February 18, 2013

Policy Priorities: Current ACS Position Statements

Department: ACS News
Keywords: policy statements, legislative affairs

All statements are available online at www.acs.org/policy .


Energy: Provides a framework for government, industry, and academia to cooperate on a comprehensive energy science and technology policy.

Funding Science & Technology at Various Agencies (Fiscal 2013): Supports predictable and sustainable funding for the basic science agencies and cautions the Administration to focus on the long-term benefits of scientific research rather than on short-term economic impacts such as immediate job creation.

Innovation & Competitiveness: Supports investment in a talented workforce through education and training, long-term commitments to basic research and technology development, and the development of a sustainable infrastructure for innovation.

U.S. Business Climate: Supports policies that will make U.S. firms internationally competitive, reforms to the U.S. patent and intellectual property framework that promote innovation, and policies designed to improve technology transfer and commercialization of breakthroughs spurred by federal research investments.


Employment Nondiscrimination: Recommends federal legislation to extend employment discrimination protection to include sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity.

Health Care: Supports access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans and sets out broad principles intended to guide policy on current health care options.

Importance of Hands-on Laboratory Activities: Supports hands-on activities in education and explores the proper role of computer simulations that mimic laboratory procedures as a useful supplement to them.

Retirement Security: Urges Congress to reduce the regulatory complexity of 401(k) plans available to small-business owners and promote faster vesting and more portable plans.

Science Education: Supports modernizing learning environments and strengthening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teacher education programs; encourages student research.

Teaching of Evolution: Supports teaching of evolution and opposes alternative, nonscientific theories. Urges states and localities to support high-quality science standards and curricula.


Access to High-Quality Science: Supports using sustainable publishing models that provide universal access to scientific research. Supports the 10 principles outlined in the Brussels Declaration on STM Publishing (STM is scientific, technical, and medical), as set forth by the International Association of STM Publishers.

Charitable Donations: Supports tax deductions for charitable contributions and permanent extension of the Individual Retirement Account charitable rollover provisions.

Scientific Freedom: Advocates freedom of scientific exchange and stronger scientific collaboration to benefit humankind.

Visa Restrictions: Supports timely screening for visiting scientists and students. Commits to assisting federal agencies with technical expertise.


Biomonitoring: Supports collection of biomonitoring data to better identify, understand, and communicate the potential risks associated with chemical exposures. Encourages the development of biomonitoring methodology to track the fate of chemicals, their exposure pathways, uptake mechanisms, and trends in human exposure.

Chemicals Management & Regulation: Addresses issues of public confidence, risk assessment, the responsibilities of industry, and sustainability. Makes recommendations on incorporation of green chemistry principles, data testing and exemptions, and the education and training of chemical scientists.

Climate: Reviews the science and recommends action on greenhouse gas reduction and climate-change adaptation strategies. Encourages continued funding for research into the effects of climate change, while also emphasizing the importance of educating the public on the issue.

Endocrine Disruption: Endorses expanded education and research as well as the development of more effective methods to reduce the release of endocrine disrupters into the environment and to limit human exposure.

Inherently Safer Technologies (ISTs): Endorses federal support for developing ISTs and greater use of ISTs in reducing risk.

Regulation of Laboratory Waste: Reviews the pitfalls of regulations meant for large-scale chemical manufacturing being applied to laboratories.

Scientific Insight & Integrity: Supports the use of comprehensive scientific research and analysis to help develop and evaluate policy options. Encourages policies that help the government obtain and apply scientific assessments.

Sustainability of the Chemical Enterprise: Defines the concept of sustainability in the context of the chemical enterprise. Supports government incentives for sustainable technologies.

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Paul Dobrowolski  (February 18, 2013 9:45 AM)
I encourage the ACS add a section under Strengthening Science Education or Promote Science in Public Policy, such as "the Science of Hot-Button Issues." The ACS needs to be more open to the public and ACS members in presenting the science behind oral contraception and abortion. Some examples to work on to promote scientific truth are: oral contraceptives (OC) are on the list of Class I carcinogens and therefore have many underreported side effects; OC's can be and most likely are abortifacient; OC's enter the environment as human waste and act as endocrine disrupters; as the science of embryology states, a human life begins at the moment of fertilization; the links of abortion to increased chance of breast cancer, depression and suicide.

These points can be contentious but the ACS needs to be at the forefront in the promotion of the truth of science, no matter what the issue is and what the outcome may be. The ACS must be totally neutral in its pursuit of the truth of science.
Ulick Stafford  (March 4, 2013 7:53 AM)
What do you mean in the climate policy line that ACS reviews the science? I have been a member of ACS for many years and read C&EN and have only ever read one side of the issue. That hardly constitutes a review. Very many good smart scientists are not convinced that we need to take action on greenhouse gas reduction and climate-change adaptation strategies. By encouraging continued funding for research into the effects of climate change you are going to find 'effects'. It is not in the financial interest of climate researchers to downplay the risks. It would be better to encourage funding to see if the effects are real or the results of poor temperature measurement and biased research. It is difficult to educate the public on the issue if you do not properly educate yourselves first. I am uncomfortable with my subscription money being used to only fund one side of the issue.
Joshua Halpern  (March 5, 2013 10:14 PM)
The Earth is round. Opinions differ. Creating a controversy is a well known tactic of those seeking to deny basic science, practiced in such disparate areas as evolution, tobacco caused disease, heavy metal poisoning, dangers of vaccination, climate change and more.

There may be very many smart scientists who question the consensus of those who devote their time to studying any of these issues, but there are not very many scientists who devote their professional lives to studying each of these issues who question the consensus of experts.
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