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Public Policy Tag Definition: Relates to Public Policy, agencies, budgets, Congress, etc.

President's Column

At 1:32AM Eastern time on 6 August, the Mars Science Laboratory and its charmingly named rover, Curiosity, executed a perfect landing in Gale Crater. President Obama called the highly complex landing procedure “an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of pride far into the future.” While we certainly hope Curiosity’s lifetime on Mars is a long one, we must all continue to make the case that we do not want to see this success as the only “point of pride” generated by a solar system mission in the coming decade.

U.S. Astronomers Make Case for Investments in R&D During Annual Congressional Visits Day

Fifteen members of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) are traveling to Washington, DC, April 24-25 to thank Congress for recent appropriations in the fiscal year 2013 spending bill and to express the need for continued federal funding of research and development (R&D) programs, which are critically important to American economic growth.

AAS Issues Statement on President Obama's Proposed FY 2013 Budget

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) today issued a statement thanking President Obama for his strong support of science as embodied in his proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 but asking him and the Congress to strive harder to maintain a balance of small, medium, and large space missions in astronomy and astrophysics, planetary science, and solar physics. Some provisions of the President’s FY 2013 budget, especially a 20 percent cut in NASA’s planetary science funding, threaten to undermine the recommendations of recent decadal surveys of these fields by the National Academy of Sciences.

Important Message from NSF Division of Astronomical Science


[forwarded by the Society on behalf of NSF]

The last day for community input to the AST Division's Portfolio Review is Tuesday, 31 January 2012. We strongly encourage all interested members of the community to become informed about the review process, by making use of the materials posted on the Portfolio Review web page,

Resolution Relating to the Ongoing NSF-AST Portfolio Review

Kevin B. Marvel, Executive Officer

The AAS has issued a resolution relating to the ongoing NSF-AST Portfolio Review.

Approved by the AAS Executive Committee on 2 January 2012, the statement supports the concept of the NSF-AST Portfolio Review and highlights its importance for enabling the Decadal Survey priorities.

The full statement is available on the AAS Resolutions page:

Mailed 5 January 2012

Local Visits

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.

President Elmegreen Testifies Before the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies

Subject: President Elmegreen Testifies Before the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies

Kevin B. Marvel, Executive Officer & Bethany Johns, John Bahcall Public Policy Fellow

The AAS regularly provides testimony to Congressional committees that have direct impact on astronomy and astrophysics. Typically, this testimony takes the form of submitted written remarks, which are considered by the committees as they pursue their legislative activities.

Communicating With Washington

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.


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