The U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF) applauds the work spearheaded by Representatives Howard L. Berman (D-CA) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), with their introduction of legislation to enhance and expand the role of science in American foreign policy. The Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy Act of 2010 (H.R. 4801) presents a cogent case for the strengths, benefits and practical applications of a sound science-based program of international engagement.
If enacted, this bill would provide crucial support for research and academic collaborations; help to bridge information gaps through online access to scientific journals; allocate resources for the development of science and education infrastructure; and provide an organized and supportive framework for civilian research partnerships.
"Science is one of the areas in which the United States is highly regarded globally, and there is a growing recognition that scientists are uniquely equipped to serve as envoys, diplomats and goodwill ambassadors by doing simply what they do best—collaborating with their peers around the world to address common challenges," says CRDF President and CEO Cathleen A. Campbell.
"Historically, the exchange of ideas between academics and scientists have connected humanity in its search for knowledge—leading to the development of innovative technologies, honored principles and education," Campbell continues. "The legislation introduced today by Representative Berman is a much needed plan to utilize science and technology collaboration—areas where people from other countries want to engage with the U.S.—to find solutions to the great problems of our time."
"For fifteen years, CRDF has demonstrated the power of science and technology partnerships and collaboration between scientists in the United States and their peers in nearly 30 countries. We have seen firsthand how science helps build domestic competitiveness, strengthens security and creates opportunities for the productive address of critical issues regardless of political or ideological differences," Campbell says.
The Partnership for a Secure America maintains that science diplomacy is crucial to U.S. foreign policy and has asked President Obama, the Administration, and Congress to elevate its role in U.S. national security and foreign policy.
"This forward-thinking legislation makes clear the notion that that scientific engagement is necessary and capable of yielding impacts that far outweigh research results," Campbell says. "CRDF looks forward to greater recognition of science diplomacy as the bill is discussed in the House of Representatives and Senate. "
H.R. 4801 was introduced to the House on Wednesday (March 10). The full text of H.R. 4801 is at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-4801.
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