This Action Alert requests that AAS members email or call their representatives in Congress to end the budget sequester and support strong investments in basic research. Instructions on whom to contact and how to do so are provided along with sample communications.
All Posts by Joshua H. Shiode
The AAS Executive Office wants to hear how the indiscriminate, across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester have affected our members. Please use our online form to report your experience.
Last week's plots may have given the impression that the NASA SMD division budgets, and changes therein, were all on the same scale; they're not. Here's a short addendum with a more appropriately scaled plot.
The indiscriminate, across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester (or sequestration) began in 2013. That first round of cuts included more than $0.5 billion from basic science research budgets at NASA, NSF, and the DOE; more cuts are scheduled to reduce budgets each year through 2021. We want to hear how these cuts have affected you.
To provide greater context to our discussion about the NASA Science Mission Directorate budget, which we began last post, here are two plots of total SMD funding over time.
Last post, we took our first look at the potential budget for the coming fiscal year, FY 2014, which began 28 days ago. This time, we'll dive a little deeper into the budgetary outlook for NASA in FY 2014, as the two chambers of Congress begin the budget negotiations mandated by their crisis-ending deal.
The last few days have brought welcome news of a potential end to the government shutdown. Whether you believe there can be a long-term, large-scale budget bargain or not, its important to look at where this Congress left off when they last considered funding the government in something like the "normal" way.
The federal government remains shut down. We are sorting out its effects on our astronomical sciences, and we're asking you for your stories, which we'll collect for a letter to Congressional leaders.
On October 1, 2013, the federal government shut down as the two chambers of Congress failed to pass even a short-term spending bill for fiscal year 2014, which started that day. We are collecting your stories to use, anonymously, in a letter to lawmakers.
At the Golden Goose Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC, a cadre of researchers were recognized for seemingly obscure basic research that has reaped huge and wholly unexpected rewards in societal applications.
Josh Shiode, the AAS's incoming John N. Bahcall Public Policy Fellow, blogs about his somewhat meandering journey from research scientist to policy wonk.
Local visits with your member of Congress can have a more profound impact then visiting them at Capitol Hill. A local visit with your member of Congress is when you schedule an appointment with him or her during Congressional recess when they are back in their state. Please consider scheduling a meeting with your member of Congress.
Instructions for participating in the Communicating With Washington program.
Staff on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and in Congress often lament that they don't hear enough from scientists who depend on federal funding about the importance of their research to the nation. The AAS aims to help make communicating with Washington a part of every scientist’s professional and academic career.
This example of a phone conversation assumes an astronomer is calling a Congressperson's office about a letter sponsored by two Congressmen and being sent to the House leadership.
List of Agencies, Advisors, and Policy Makers involved in funding astronomy.
Contains information on the US government budget cycles and the astronomical sciences' place in them.
- The National Research Council Report New Frontiers in the Solar System:
An Integrated Exploration Strategy
- The National Research Council Report The Sun to the Earth--and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics
- The National Research Council Report Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium
Resources for Contacting Congress including tools to find the name of your Representative and Senator(s), tips on how to structure a letter,a personal visit, or a phone call and how to schedule a visit.