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AGU applauds passage of bipartisan U.S. innovation bill

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AGU, the world’s largest Earth and space science association, applauds the bipartisan effort by Congress to pass the CHIPS and Science Act, which represents one of the largest investments in U.S. science and technology in decades.

The legislation, which was modified from a larger package of bills, now includes the semiconductor-focused CHIPS Act, along with a package of measures that will authorize science agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), and National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), to deepen investments in cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, and to prioritize research into solutions for climate change, energy sources and national security.

The CHIPS and Science Act recognizes the critical role of science and the scientific workforce to the economy and resilience of the United States. AGU, with the support of our community, provided input on this bill throughout the legislative process and specifically called on legislators to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) provisions, which were ultimately included.

The Chips and Science Act invests in academic institutions and individuals that have been historically left out of research investments, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), along with academic centers in more rural locations. In addition, the package incorporates provisions that will combat sexual harassment in science and help to recruit underrepresented students into science fields.

We are encouraged to see Congress’ bipartisan efforts to support science. At the same time, we recognize that certain elements of the bill will require further action, including the need to provide the actual funding that the bill authorizes, as well as to ensure that provisions for research security do not place an undue burden on international students and academic institutions.

AGU urges Congress to act on the funding framework created by this legislation by providing the actual appropriation of the money envisioned, including roughly doubling NSF’s annual budget to nearly $19 billion over the next five years and increasing the DOE’s Office of Science annual funding to nearly $11 billion in the same period.

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AGU(www.agu.org)supports 130,000 enthusiasts to experts worldwide in Earth and space sciences. Through broad and inclusive partnerships, we advance discovery and solution science that accelerate knowledge and create solutions that are ethical, unbiased, and respectful of communities and their values. Our programs include serving as a scholarly publisher, convening virtual and in-person events, and providing career support. We live our values in everything we do, such as our net-zero energy renovated building in Washington, D.C. and our Ethics and Equity Center, which fosters a diverse and inclusive geoscience community to ensure responsible conduct. 

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