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SAGE opposes the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806)

April 23, 2015

Los Angeles, CA. SAGE joins leading scientific associations and American universities in opposing the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806). H.R.1806 challenges the value of the social and behavioral science research and restricts the proven processes of the experts at the National Science Foundation. SAGE opposes this legislation in its current form and urges members of Congress to vote no on H.R. 1806.

H.R. 1806 arbitrarily makes decisions on funding levels for the NSF by directorate, impeding the NSF’s highly regarded review processes – which are the envy of the world.  If enacted, it would cut authorized funding to NSF’s Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) Directorate by 45%, discouraging interdisciplinary science.

A US-based independent publisher of more than 800 academic journals, SAGE has published social and behavioral science research since 1965. Currently, we employ more than 700 people across the U.S. and are headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA, with principal offices in Boston and Washington, D.C. In our 50 years as a publisher, we have witnessed how SBE research sustains the impact of the natural sciences and improves the economy and the competitiveness of our great nation as well as the health, safety, and wellbeing of both individuals and society at large. While federal agencies must be mindful of changing fiscal conditions, the research conducted by social and behavioral scientists has made us more efficient and has saved countless dollars for America and Americans.

The SBE directorate funds 55% of university-based social and behavioral science research in the nation, yet it has remained the smallest of the directorates, accounting for less than 5% of the entire NSF budget. A 45% cut would significantly undermine research conducted at world-renowned universities and research institutions across the U.S.

The original America COMPETES Act was enacted in 2007 with bipartisan support and near universal endorsement of the science, higher education, and business communities. The original statute and subsequent reauthorization bills adopted a vision for U.S. competitiveness that included support for all disciplines of science.  Regrettably, the new cuts proposed by H.R. 1806 would thwart this vision, leading to irreparable damage to the U.S. scientific enterprise.

It is our hope that members of Congress will oppose H.R. 1806 in its current form and instead enact a strong reauthorization bill that benefits the entire scientific community to support our nation’s researchers and universities and to maintain our role as a leader in science and technology.

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