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AAA Condemns Senseless Gutting of Science In White House Budget

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May 24, 2017

Contact Name: Jeff Martin

AAA Condemns Senseless Gutting of Science In White House Budget

The budget proposed by the White House calls for deep and wide ranging cuts to the major US departments and programs that have science at the core of their work. The AAA joins a large and loud chorus of organizations who view the cuts as shortsighted, illogical and, frankly, just plain ludicrous.

The reductions are a move in exactly the wrong direction at exactly the wrong time which will have dire social consequences. Perhaps the most egregious is the outright elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), The National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and Title VI and Fulbright Hays.

The US Environmental Protection Agency is set to lose 31.6% of its current budget, which amounts to a $2.7 billion cut. This will likely hinder the already beleaguered agency’s ability to enforce environmental laws, impede its tap water safety programs, and eliminate its Climate Protection Program, among other changes. The reductions also include $5.8 billion, or 18%, from the National Institutes of Health, which fund thousands of researchers working on cancer and other diseases, and $900 million, or almost 20 percent, from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which funds the national laboratories, considered among the crown jewels of basic research in the world. The National Science Foundation, which provides $7 billion a year in grants to universities and research institutes, will have its budget cut by 10.7%.

These cuts across the fields of science will undoubtedly have real-world negative effects on anthropology and other sciences and social sciences.  Anthropological research serves the national interest by helping achieve a more just and sustainable society. The need for such research has never been greater. Because of the work of anthropologists, heritage and languages are preserved, school systems are improved, lives are saved through public health interventions, environmental resources are managed more effectively, and a culture of innovation is better understood.

Congress has historically spurred the development of a robust national science agenda by supporting strong and sustained funding. We urge Congress to reject this budget. It is our hope that common sense will prevail, and that the final budget will again set forth a solid vision to maintain our leadership in science and technology. Simply put, it is vital to our nation’s future.

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Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association, with 10,000 members, is the world’s largest scholarly and professional organization of anthropologists. The Association is dedicated to advancing human understanding and applying this understanding to the world’s most pressing problems.

Urge your members of Congress to fund science. Show your support for scientific research by contacting your members of Congress, and urging them support science while they craft their appropriations bills. Use this contact form on the AAAS website.

Tell Congress to Oppose the Elimination of NEH! The Trump Administration has issued a budget request that calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), along with other cultural agencies. Use the form on the National Humanities Alliance website to ask your Members of Congress to oppose this proposal by email or phone. 

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