Earth and space scientists applaud Obama science pledge

26 January 2011

Joint Release

WASHINGTON—The American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest organization of Earth and space scientists, applauds President Barack Obama’s call yesterday in his State of the Union address for nurturing and strengthening the American investment in science research and education. The U.S. needs robust, enduring support for publicly funded scientific research to tackle today’s challenges of economic malaise and global climate change.

“At a time of unprecedented national debt and prolonged financial fragility, it’s natural to question how we spend taxpayer dollars,” said Michael J. McPhaden, AGU’s President. “But, as President Obama noted last night, investing in science and technology has the extraordinary benefit of driving innovation, which we so desperately need now to create jobs and to wean ourselves from fossil fuels.”

President Obama revealed last night that there will be an emphasis on clean-energy technology in his forthcoming budget. Pursuing such technologies is a promising way to help the U.S. and the world achieve reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases, which AGU and other scientific societies have warned are necessary to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.

“Investments in science research, education, and technology create jobs, enhance American competitiveness, spur innovation and prepare the workforce to face future challenges,” said Christine McEntee, AGU’s Executive Director. “At the same time, by deepening our understanding of the universe around us and the hazards we face from it, scientific advances forge stronger, safer societies.”

AGU’s more than 60,000 members, in over 135 countries, stand ready to continue providing America and the world with the advances in geophysical research that improve national security, develop natural resources, and protect lives and property from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and other natural hazards.

AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization which advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs.