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
- 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.
View Issues Addressed by TMS in 2017
- 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
- 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.
Click on the link above to learn about actions taken by TMS during the 2017 calendar year.
Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017
TMS sent a letter to Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Kevin Brady, chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, expressing concern that, if enacted, H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, would detrimentally impact the fields in which we work by creating a barrier to entry into graduate-level educational institutions for advanced training and education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Read the message from TMS leadership.
Statement on U.S. Immigration and Visa Proclamation
TMS signed on to a letter as one of 87 professional, scientific, engineering, and education societies; national associations; and universities. The letter expressed concern to U.S. President Donald Trump about the September 24, 2017 White House Proclamation on visas and immigration and its potential to reduce U.S. science and engineering output to the detriment of the nation.
Read the message and view other signatories.
Congressional Hearing on Materials Science Research
View “Materials Science: Building the Future
,” the hearing held by the Committee on Science, Space & Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy and Subcommittee on Research and Technology on June 28, 2017. The hearing focused on vital research in materials science and demonstrated examples of the broad economic benefit of investments in materials research.
Letters to Budget and Appropriations Committees
Eight letters signed by 2017 TMS President David DeYoung and TMS Executive Director James J. Robinson were delievered to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Budget and Appropriations Committees, in both the House and Senate. The letter asked these leaders to work with their colleagues to restore the proposed cuts to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation, as well as federal research support generally across the sciences.
Read the letter.
Letter to the President
TMS sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, describing the importance of scientists being able to travel freely into and out of the United States for the purpose of sharing and peer review of science and scientific advancements for the benefit of the United States and the world community.
Read the letter.
Statement on U.S. Immigration and Visa System
TMS has joined 14 other engineering societies in issuing a statement to the U.S. president and Congress “to work with all interested parties to ensure that our country's visa and immigration systems maintain the flow of individuals and ideas upon which our country's prosperity and progress depend.” The other signatories on the statement are AAES, ABET, AIAA, AIChE, ANS, ASABE, ASCE, ASEE, ASME, HFES, IEEE-USA, OSA, SAE, and SPIE. The statement was delivered in February 2017.
Read the Message from America’s Engineering Associations.
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
Contact Your Representative
TMS encourages you to contact your congressional leaders to discuss legislation that impacts the work of scientists and engineers.
Find your Representative
Contact your Senator