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Congress has passed landmark innovation and competitiveness legislation that calls for investing in basic research and promoting math and science programs to keep the U.S. globally competitive.
Legislators approved the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 2272) on Aug. 2, demonstrating a bipartisan effort among legislators to ensure that the U.S. maintains its world position as a leader in technology and innovation by focusing on research and development in the physical sciences.
The bill, which needs President Bush’s signature before it becomes law, authorizes increases in basic research funding in the physical science and engineering fields by doubling the funding levels at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) over seven years.
In addition, the legislation outlines initiatives to recruit and retain highly qualified educators in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at the K-12 level and attract early career researchers to the science and technology fields.
“This is the culmination of a 10-year effort that began with D. Allan Bromley, former president of the American Physical Society, who emphasized the link between science and competitiveness,” said Michael S. Lubell, director of public affairs for the American Physical Society.
For more information about H.R. 2272, go to thomas.loc.gov.
The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, D.C.