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Policy Priorities

Current ACS Position Statements

by Susan J. Ainsworth
February 6, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 6

All statements are available online at

Fostering Innovation Through Research & Technology

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

Funding Science & Technology at Various Agencies (Fiscal Year 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 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 American 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.

Strengthening Science Education & The Scientific Workforce

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

Health Care Policy: 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 Policies: 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, non-scientific theories. Urges states and localities to support high-quality science standards and curricula.

Advancing Science Through Openness

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 (where 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.

Promoting Science & Sustainability In Public Policy

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 release of endocrine disrupters into the environment as well as human exposure.

Inherently Safer Technologies: Endorses federal support for developing IST and greater use of IST 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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