Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today issued the following statement on the passage of the NSF for the Future Act in the House of Representatives.
“House passage of the NSF for the Future and DOE for the Future Act represents a key step forward for U.S. scientific leadership. These bills unlock critical investments for science-led innovation that’s been at the heart of American leadership for generations. We thank Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson and Frank Lucas for their bipartisan leadership on these critical bills.
“Decades of stalled investment in research and development as a share of our economy risks ceding innovation leadership at a time when our fiercest global competitors are rapidly increasing their investments in science and innovation. The research and development funding authorized in these bills would reverse recent trends to enable critical advances in the U.S. scientific enterprise. Yet while today’s passage is an important victory, we can’t lose sight of the fact that these authorizations must be backed by actual funding to ensure more innovations in the lab make it into the commercial marketplace.
“The creation of a new directorate at the National Science Foundation would ensure that more groundbreaking research projects translate into commercial breakthroughs that improve our lives and fuel broad-based economic growth. The NSF for the Future Act recognizes that U.S. leadership in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, biotechnology, and clean energy is inextricably tied to our values and national interest.
“The NSF for the Future Act also authorizes the NSF INCLUDES program, which works to improve diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. APLU is proud to co-lead the Aspire Alliance, a national NSF INCLUDES-funded effort to diversify STEM faculty and advance more inclusive teaching practices. Investing in a more diverse and inclusive STEM workforce is critical to U.S. scientific leadership. We thank lawmakers for authorizing the INCLUDES program. As the House and Senate negotiate action on final legislative text with the U.S. Competition and Innovation Act, we urge lawmakers to ensure the INCLUDES program is in the final legislation.
“We’re thrilled by the robust, bipartisan support for investing in American science and believe this is an issue that can galvanize and unite Americans across the country.”