From time to time, the American Astronomical Society (AAS), as part of its policy activities, joins with its peers to send letters to policymakers.1
The AAS is currently a member organization with the Task Force on American Innovation (TFAI), the Energy Sciences Coalition (ESC), the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), the Physical Sciences Education Policy Coalition (PSEPC), the Coalition for Aerospace and Science (CAS), the U.S. Coalition for the Advancement of Supercomputing (USCAS), and a coalition of scholarly publications (GATF).
Most of the Society's joint advocacy work is done in the context of the above coalitions, which send letters to policymakers and issue statements about policy issues. The AAS is often, but not always, listed as a signatory or on the letterhead of these documents. Decisions about whether or not to sign on to these documents lie with the AAS Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy (CAPP), in consultation with the AAS Public Policy staff, and is governed by the CAPP's mission, guiding principles, and strategic plan.
Letters from 2016
- AAS joined CNSF in urging the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to support sustainable funding for NSF.
- AAS joined CAS in urging the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to support sustained growth in funding for NASA.
- AAS joined ESC in urging the House and Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee to support research and development programs at Department of Energy's Office of Science.
Letters from 2015
- Several of the coalitions of which AAS is a member--CAS, CNSF, ESC, and TFAI--issued a joint statement urging Congress to support federal research funding in the FY 2016 Omnibus spending bill.
- AAS joined CAS in urging Congress to pass an FY 2016 Omnibus spending bill that provides sustainable growth for NASA.
- AAS joined PSEPC in thanking Congress for the inclusion of STEM education funding authority in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
- AAS joined GATF in expressing concerns about the Senate version of Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR).
- AAS joined several industry representatives, universities, and professional societies in urging Congress to ensure that the US remains the global innovation leader.
Letters from Previous Years
- AAS joined CNSF in congratulating Representative John Culberson on his appointment as the chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies in the 114th Congress.
- AAS joined ESC in urging Senate leaders to confirm the nominations of Franklin M. (Lynn) Orr, Jr. for Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary for Science and Energy and Marc Kastner for Director of the DOE-Office of Science (DOE-SC).
- AAS joined ESC in urging Congress to move swiftly to pass FY 2015 appropriations that provide strong funding for DOE-SC.
- AAS joined ESC in urging the White House Office of Management and Budget to provide robust and sustained funding for DOE-SC in its FY 2016 budget request.
- AAS joined TFAI in urging Congress to pass an FY 2015 Omnibus spending bill that provides strong funding for research and education.
- AAS joined CNSF in urging Congress to pass an FY 2015 Omnibus spending bill that provides sustainable funding for NSF.
- CNSF issued a statement thanking Chairman Jay Rockefeller for introducing legislation to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act in the 113th Congress.
- AAS joined the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and other member societies in sending a letter to Chairman Jay Rockefeller in support of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014.
- AAS led a sign-on letter—signed by 69 other science and engineering organizations—highlighting the impact of ongoing travel and conference participation regulations on our scientific enterprise to leaders of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in advance of their markup of S. 1347, Conference Accountability Act of 2013.
- CNSF issued statements commending the leaders of the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittees for placing a high priority on NSF funding in their FY 2015 bills.
- TFAI issued a statement commending the leaders of the House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee for their leadership in passing an FY 2015 bill with strong funding for research.
- TFAI issued a statement expressing strong concerns with the funding levels in the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act.
- CNSF issued a statement expressing serious concerns with the funding levels and policy provisions in the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act.
- AAS joined ESC in urging Congress to place a high priority on the DOE-SC as it completed negotiations on funding levels for FY 2014.
- AAS joined a statement led by the National Center for Science Education supporting accurate science education and opposing efforts to weaken or remove evolution from science textbooks.
- The Semiconductor Industry Association led a letter urging Congress to pass the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013.
- AAS joined the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and other organizations to express concerns about the impact of regulations on federal participation in scientific and technical conferences.
- AAS joined CNSF in expressing its support for the importance of the merit-review process to the effective allocation of funding for research at the National Science Foundation.