TMS is currently following and/or taking action related to several legislative issues of importance to its membership.
TMS Statement Concerning the Ongoing Russian Invasion of Ukraine
TMS has issued a statement concerning the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The statement, which was developed under the leadership of the TMS International Affairs Committee, expresses both concern and support for our members residing in Ukraine. Read the Statement.
Letter to the OSTP on Federally Funded Research Results
2022 TMS President Jud Ready and TMS Executive Director James Robinson issued a letter to Arati Prabhakar, Director of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy, regarding access to federally funded research results. Read the Letter.
Letter to Senate and House Leadership
TMS is one of 83 organizations that signed on to a letter opposing a provision in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) bill about public accessibility to federally funded research. The letter argues that this provision (Section 2527b of USICA) should not be included in the final conferenced legislation. Read the full letter.
Letter to Leaders of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees
TMS is one of more than 30 organizations to sign on to a letter from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in support of the immigration provision in the America COMPETES Act that exempts STEM graduates with advanced degrees from green card caps and its inclusion in the conferenced competitiveness bill currently being negotiated in Congress. Read the full letter.
View Issues Addressed by TMS in 2021
Click on the link above to learn about actions taken by TMS during the 2021 calendar year.
View Issues Addressed by TMS in 2020
Letter to the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
The TMS Public & Governmental Affairs Committee and the TMS Materials Innovation Committee collaborated on a letter to the OSTP to provide materials science information in response to President Biden’s intent to "refresh and reinvigorate" the national science policy for the next 75 years. President Biden is asking the OSTP to investigate areas that aim to accomplish this goal. Read the full letter.
TMS Position on Racial Justice for African Americans in the U.S.
TMS supports the identification and correction of policies, systems and any operational standards in U.S. academic, government or industrial institutions that negatively and disproportionately impact any racial group. The events of 2020 have highlighted significant opportunities still remain to address generational legacies of racial injustice and disadvantage still faced by African-Americans today. Read the Position Statement.
Click on the link above to learn about actions taken by TMS during the 2020 calendar year.
View Issues Addressed by TMS in 2019
TMS Position Statement on Executive Order 13950: Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping
TMS has developed a position statement re-affirming the Society's commitment to advancing racial and gender inclusivity in science and engineering and calling for the repeal of this executive order. Read the full letter.
TMS Letter Opposing Changes to the International Student Visa Program
TMS submitted this letter outlining the potential impacts of proposed international student visa time limits, and requesting that these be withdrawn or extended to a common limit of no less than six years. Read the full letter.
Letter in Support of Federal Employee Training Programs Related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
TMS is one of 50 organizations to sign this letter strongly urging the Administration to rescind its elimination of federal employee training programs related to diversity, equity and inclusion as specified in the Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies issued September 4th, 2020 and the September 22nd Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. Read the full letter.
Multi-Society Statement on Prevention of Nonimmigrant Students from Taking Online-Only Coursework
TMS is one of 45 organizations to sign this letter from the American Society for Engineering Education recommending retraction of the changes announced on July 6, 2020 by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Read the full letter.
An Open Letter to the White House, Department of Homeland Security and Department of State
This letter, signed by TMS and more than 65 additional science and engineering organizations, respectfully requests that plans announced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on July 6, 2020 to modify the exemption to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) be withdrawn immediately. Read the full letter.
TMS Statement and Actions Regarding Social Justice
TMS leaders commit to adding social justice for black Americans and underrepresented groups to our advocacy position when TMS leadership travels to Washington, D.C., to advocate on behalf of materials science and engineering to federal officials and elected representatives. Read the full letter.
Click on the link above to learn about actions taken by TMS during the 2019 calendar year.
View Issues Addressed by TMS in 2018
Letter to President Donald J. Trump
TMS joined with a coalition of publishers and societies as signatories on two letters sent to President Donald J. Trump to express concern about a possible executive order that would require publishers to make available immediately, for free, journal articles that report research funded by the U.S. government. One letter includes signatures from more than 125 leading publishers and nonprofit scientific societies; the other letter has representation from societies only.
Click on the link above to learn about actions taken by TMS during the 2018 calendar year.
View Issues Addressed by TMS in 2017
Letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
TMS leaders sent a letter to John Thune, Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, expressing strong support for the nomination of Kelvin Droegemeier to be Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) within the White House. The letter also urged the committee to work with the president and his administration to fully staff OSTP and other crucial science and technology policy positions across the government.
Read the complete letter.
Letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
Kevin J. Hemker, 2018 TMS President, provided comments on behalf of TMS on a proposed rule recently promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, entitled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” in response to the agency’s call for comments on the ‘anti-secret science’ proposal. The letter states, “TMS finds the proposal to be arbitrary and limiting, both of which are antithetical to the principles of scientific exploration.”
Read the complete letter.
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.
- 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.
TMS Advocacy Interests
You can learn more about topics of interest to TMS and its members at our Advocacy Interests web page.
Contact Your Representative
TMS encourages you to contact your congressional leaders to discuss legislation that impacts the work of scientists and engineers.