Current Issues

TMS is currently following and/or taking action related to several legislative issues of importance to its membership.

TMS Legislative Priorities in the 115th Congress

Appropriations

  • Strengthen and stabilize federal agency funding of the Department of Energy (DOE), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and national laboratories
  • Ensure that all new Department of Defense (DOD) funding has a proportionate share for research and development of new technology

Fair Access to Science & Technology Research Act of 2017 (S. 1701, H.R. 3427)

TMS supports the objective of the Fair Access Act in that we agree that broad dissemination of research results is fundamental to the advancement of knowledge and maintaining a strong nation.

TMS is supportive of the exclusions articulated in the bill, specifically "exemption of research progress reports presented at professional meetings or conferences."

TMS is concerned with the language of the Fair Access Act in that it may limit the options of government-funded researchers; limit the ability of industry to collaborate with the research enterprise; and will potentially create a cost burden on federal agencies.
  • Mandated open access has the potential to distort the existing marketplace for publication and dissemination of scientific advances. User-fees and subscriptions are important mechanisms to ensure high-quality content and robust peer-review structures.
  • TMS is concerned about efforts which effectively subsidize international industry to have free access to U.S. government-sponsored research.

​​Scientific Integrity Act (S. 338, H.R. 1358)

TMS supports the Scientific Integrity Act because protecting our nation's research apparatus from political interference will enhance informed policy-making and promote the public welfare.
  • Federal employees and contractors supervising research activities are vulnerable to political interference due to inadequate institutional protections for the integrity of their work. This interference degrades the value of their work.
  • The review process will create a dialogue between scientists, federal agency policymakers, and public relations officials, some of whom may not realize that their interpretation of their scientists' findings is not correct.
  • Keeping experts in the loop when communicating technical information will increase the accuracy and credibility of federal agency public relations.

BASIC Research Act (S. 1973)

TMS opposes the BASIC Research Act because it will reduce the quality of basic scientific research in the United States.

  • NSF Office of Inspector General already provides independent oversight of NSF's activities. If this new office questions panel recommendations and subjects routine deliberations to extraordinary scrutiny, it will harm the ability of NSF to recruit highly-qualified volunteers to
    review proposals.
  • With the introduction of the "taxpayer advocate" on NSF review panels, this Act will result in less innovative proposals being funded. Experts aren’t infallible, but it is easier for nonexperts to be fooled by style over substance.
  • NSF is focused on basic research, and it is the nature of basic research that it may not deliver taxpayer value for a long time. This is why we should continue allowing expert opinion to shape basic research funding priorities.​​
View Issues Addressed by TMS in 2017

Click on the link above to learn about actions taken by TMS during the 2017 calendar year.

TMS Advocacy Interests

  • Manufacturing, Advanced Manufacturing, and Manufacturing USA-the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation
  • No Institution of Unreasonable Barriers for U.S. Scientists and Engineers to Travel Freely or for International Scientists and Engineers to Enter the U.S. for the Purpose of Knowledge Exchange
  • STEM Education for K-12 to Fuel Economic Growth and Innovation
  • Diversity in Science & Engineering
  • Scientific Conference Attendance and Participation for Federal Employees
  • Energy and Environmental Sustainability
  • Materials Innovation/Materials Genome Initiative
  • Rare Earth/Critical Materials/Natural Resource Utilization
  • Support for Basic Research in Science and Engineering
  • Strengthen and Stabilize Federal Agency Funding of DOE, NSF, NIST and National Laboratories

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