Washington, DC – November 9, 2016 – Advancing science research, technology and education are important investments in the future of the United States to ensure innovation and economic vitality to sustain the nation’s global competitiveness. The nation must continue to seize opportunities within the vast scope of scientific disciplines and areas of research funded by the federal government.
“The new Administration has a great opportunity to continue to strengthen research and development efforts in order to keep our scientific leaders on the cutting edge of experimentation, exploration, and advancement. This investment will have substantial benefits for the U.S. economy and the American quality of life,” said Susan Sharp, President, American Society for Microbiology.
“Support for basic research is the foundation for future innovations, and the new Administration’s policies can help us retain U.S. leadership in global science and technology,” said Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, ASM. “Essential to the ecosystem of science which can reap great benefits for society and the economy is the fostering of a culture of curiosity, rooted in welcoming new ideas, and people who bring different perspectives and approaches to always ensure that policies and actions are inspired and directed based on evidence,” he added.
ASM, which represents over 47,000 members in the United States and worldwide, has identified three priority areas that the new Administration should address that will directly benefit the American public:
- Combatting drug-resistant infectious diseases
- Dedicating a federal fund for rapid responses to microbial outbreaks
- Promoting the commercial potential of a U.S. bioeconomy
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) persists as one of our most daunting challenges in safeguarding public health and well-being. “It is imperative to expand investments in multidisciplinary efforts to curb the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The new Administration should fully implement and increase funding for the National Action Plan for Combatting Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB) to enable a comprehensive and coordinated federal response to AMR,” said Bertuzzi.
Many of today’s advances in health and biotechnology have emerged from microbial research. The National Microbiome Initiative, which has supported interdisciplinary research to answer fundamental questions about microbiomes in diverse ecosystems, is another key example of how research using microorganisms can benefit science and technology.
A permanent federal fund dedicated to preparing for and responding to emerging infectious disease (EID) events like Zika or Ebola infection and other microbial threats and disturbances should be created under the incoming Administration. “The proposed EID fund would allow the country to mobilize rapidly with the necessary countermeasures, similar to our military readiness, without diverting emergency funding from ongoing programs,” said Bertuzzi.
ASM has convened a group of our most qualified members, the ASM Presidential Transition Advisors, who are looking forward to meeting with key individuals on President-elect Trump's transition team. “We are eager to help formulate policies and offer nonpartisan advice on key science and health related government appointments,” said Bertuzzi.
The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 48,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.
ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.