Public Policy Reports

The following reports are available from the Office of Public and Scientific Affairs. To request a print copy of any of the following documents or to comment on them, send an email to
Biomedical and Life Sciences Research: Federal Funding for Fiscal Year 2017
A report that provides policy and funding recommendations of the ASM for life sciences research and public health programs supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Defense (DOD).

Land Application of Organic Residuals: Public Health Threat or Environmental Benefit?
A report based on a workshop chaired by Gary King, Ph.D., chair of the Public and Scientific Affairs Board Committee on Environmental Microbiology.  The workshop was held in Washington, DC to discuss microbiological concerns about land spreading, the appropriate disposal of biosolids and the role of microbiology. 

Basic Research on Bacteria: The Essential Frontier
The report on the American Society for Microbiology and National Institutes of Health Workshop on Basic Bacterial Research. Important new opportunities for research on bacteria are outlined in the report. 

Survey of Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Workloads, Productivity Rates and Staffing Vacancies - ASM Benchmarking Study (2005)
ASM's Benchmarking Study, which is the final report the 2003 survey of the clinical microbiology workloads, productivity rates and staffing vacancies, is now available. The Benchmarking Study, which is a project of the PSAB Committee on Professional Affairs, will enable clinical microbiology labs to measure themselves against peer groups and determine the level of technical skill required for present and future clinical lab procedures. 

Survey for Determining the Location, Capacity, and Status of Existing and Operating BSL-3 Laboratory Facilities within the United States (2005)
In October 2004, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) partnered with the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) to conduct a brief survey of academic, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical facilities in the United States (US) on the location, capacity, and status of existing and operating US laboratory facilities that incorporate Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) containment.

Strengthening Microbiologic Laboratory Systems to Support Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Programs in Under-Resourced Countries, Final Meeting Report
On May 9-10, 2005, the Public and Scientific Affairs Board (PSAB) sponsored a meeting to discuss laboratories in under-resourced countries. The meeting focused on 1) the need to increase the awareness of the importance of laboratories to the success of public health programs in under-resourced countries and 2) ways to build on existing or planned programs that require a good laboratory system for a program’s success.

Microorganisms, Mold and Indoor Air Quality
The Public and Scientific Affairs Board (PSAB) Committee on Environmental Microbiology, has prepared a report to provide information and policy recommendations on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The booklet emphasizes the critical role of research in responding to IAQ and public health issues which currently confront policy makers.

The Impact of Managed Care and Health System Change on Clinical Microbiology
A survey analysis that investigated the impact of managed care and other health system change on the functions and practices of clinical microbiology laboratories. 

Global Environmental Change - Microbial Contributions, Microbial Solutions
This report, written for policy makers, discusses the increasing prevelance of global warming and the search for solutions. 

congressional briefing reportInfectious Disease Threats As We Enter the New Century: What Can We Do?
A summary of a congressional briefing held on June 21, 1999. The report includes a discussion of threats from infectious diseases and biological terrorism as well as research and strategies to detect, treat and control the resurgence of infectious diseases.

PSAB - Program Activity Highlights for 2000
A summary of PSAB Activities for the year 2000. 

Microbial Pollutants in Our Nation's Water - Environmental and Public Health Issues
This report provides information on the problem of infectious diseases and waterborne microbial infections and emphasizes the critical role of research in responding to environmental and public health issues which currently confront policymakers. 

new and reemerging infectious disease report coverNew and Reemerging Infectious Diseases - A Global Crisis and Immediate Threat to the Nation's Health, The Role of Research
This booklet was published to communicate with policy makers and the general public about the threat of new and reemerging infectious diseases and the role of research supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Patents and Technology Transfer - Harnessing Innovation in Biotechnology
The report is based on a session held at the 1997 General Meeting in Miami. Contents include comments on university intellectual property, access to data and biomedical technology transfer in the government sector. 

doctoral graduates in microbiology coverProfile of Recent Doctoral Graduates in Microbiology - 1996 and 1997 Graduates
This report is based on a 1998 survey of recent doctoral recipients regarding post doctoral employment status. 

Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases of Animals and Plants
On April 26, 1996, the PSAB sponsored a congressional briefing on new and emerging infectious diseases in plants, animals and humans, this report is a summary of the proceedings. 

Culture Collections Report
Report of the PSAB Committee on Culture Collections compiled for the March 26-27, 1995 meeting of the United States National Committee of the International Union of Microbiological Societies.

Employment Outlook in the Microbiological Sciences
The report presents the results of a 1995 nationwide survey of employment and personnel needs in the microbiological sciences.

report on the ASM task force coverAntibiotic Resistance - Current Status and Future Directions
The Task Force considered the current prevalence of antibiotic resistance, major factors affecting the emergence of antibiotic resistance, future research needs and future surveillance strategies for monitoring resistance. The report is a summary of their findings.

Microbial Diversity Research Priorities - A Working Document for Multi-Agency Consideration
Microbial diversity is an unseen national resource that deserves greater attention. Too small to be seen no longer means too small to be studied or valued. Microbial diversity encompasses the spectrum of variability among all types of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses and many more) in the natural world and as altered by human intervention.