The following letter was sent to all ASA members residing in the United States.
To my fellow members of the American Sociological Association:
National Science Foundation (NSF) research funding for the social sciences is threatened with a 45% cut in a bill that will be debated on the House floor during the week of May 18. I urge you to write to your member of Congress before that debate.
You can do this easily right now. Go to the COSSA Action Center to sign up and take action by asking your representative to oppose the America COMPETES Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806).
On April 15, House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806), the authorization bill for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Like last year’s version of this legislation (the FIRST Act), this bill sets arbitrary funding levels for NSF’s research directorates and would impose a massive 45% cut on the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE)–effectively eliminating grant funding for sociology and the other social sciences.
COSSA’s full analysis of the bill can be found here.
I hope that social scientists will not sit on the sidelines while issues as vital as sustaining the major source of federal funding for basic social science research are being debated. Unfortunately, many public officials do not feel that basic social science research is a critical public good. But it can make a difference when they hear from their constituents! That’s why I urge you to contact your representatives.
In addition, I suggest that you contact your university officials to ensure they are focusing on this threat to basic social science research and are letting members of Congress know the potential harm the Representatives are doing to U.S. universities.
With thanks for your support,
President, American Sociological Association