Update on Congressional action–and Stand with Science over 8,000 signatures

Here is a copy of an email blast updating everyone on the debt supercommittee’s failure and the need–greater than ever–to write Congress, asking them to fend off the looming budget cuts to research:

Dear Science Supporters,

As you may have heard, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “debt supercommittee”) has officially declared failure in its mandate to find $1.2T in deficit reduction. This means that the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration are slated to go into effect starting in 2013 and lasting through 2021. The sequestration cuts include the very disaster about which Stand with Science warns: roughly 9% cuts to all federal R&D funding—about $13 billion!

This makes your participation with Stand with Science more important than ever. Although the mandatory cuts are looming, congress still has time to enact other deficit reducing measures instead. We must make sure every last Representative and Senator realizes the value of research, and realizes the public supports it. The effect of word of mouth is dramatic: it’s by far the largest source of signatures on the letter, so please share Stand with Science with a few friends or post it on Facebook… We have a whopping 8,377 signatures so far, and it’s thanks to you spreading the word.

When it became clear that the debt supercommittee was failing, we decided against making a “formal delivery” to the supercommittee; all your great work would have been overlooked in the political drama of the last couple days. Instead, we will take the letter to congress as a whole, and we will keep an eye out for the most impactful time to do it. Until then, keep getting the word out! I cannot stress how important it is for you to share this letter with your friends. Although the letter was written from the perspective of grad students, *everyone* is welcome to sign.

To be clear: we are slightly changing the addressee of the letter; instead of being addressed to the supercommittee, it will now be addressed to all members of Congress. Since the letter has always been publicly available, we hope no one feels like this is an unreasonable change.

Also, we are putting together an updated video! We need to update the message in light of the supercommittee’s failure, but we also want to hear more stories, and make a video that reflects the diversity in science and engineering research and its supporters. If you would like to be involved in the Stand with Science video 2.0, please email ntwarog@mit.edu.

All the best and happy Thanksgiving,

Mike

PS- Several science/engineering students have asked how they can get more involved/learn about policy at their school. Check out web.mit.edu/spi for an example of a policy group founded and run by scientists. They have lots of good resources, and people there will be glad to help you start an organization, if you like.

http://standwithscience.org

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stand-With-Science/301625179865724

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k519BC_SqZ8

http://twitter.com/#!/2011SWS

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