As Congress grapples with finding ways to reduce the nation’s deficit, a group of graduate students is trying to enlist the support of its peers to make the case for continued federal R&D funding. The Stand With Science campaign, begun by the MIT student-led Science Policy Initiative, is rounding up signatures for a letter to be delivered next Monday to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction—the so-called supercommittee.
Stand With Science makes its case to prospective letter signers through a three-minute video that emphasizes the importance of federal R&D spending to continued innovation and economic prosperity in the U.S. More than 5,500 graduate students, graduate school alumni, and other supporters of science have already signed the letter.
“Federal research funding is essential to graduate education because research is our education,” the letter states. “We urge [the supercommittee] to seek common ground in Congress to preserve the indispensable investments in science and engineering research that will drive our nation’s prosperity for generations. We urge you to avoid any cuts in federally funded research.”
The letter will be delivered just days ahead of the supercommittee’s statutory deadline for producing cuts of at least $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade.