Here I am doing my bit to persuade the US government that it should give a little more money to the nation’s physicists.
The photo was taken by the APS’s Tawanda Johnson, who was trying to get American physicists to write letters to their members of Congress asking them to support the provision of “supplemental appropriations” for 2008. In other words, an extra $510 million in funding that would go to the National Science Foundation, NIST and the Department of Energy — three major sources of money for physics research.
The campaign is in response to the surprise cuts in 2008 research funding that were announced in a recent bill. Hardest hit were fusion and particle physics research, which suffered 10% and 8% reductions respectively.
The letter that the APS would like its members to send describes these and other cuts as “devastating blows [to] science research”…”resulting in significant layoffs of scientists and engineers”. The letter also says that the funding cuts will thwart US efforts to reduce its reliance on foreign oil, mitigate global warming, and put a lid on escalating energy costs. “In short, the enacted bill is bad for our energy and economic future”, the letter says.
At about four in the afternoon, more than 400 letters had been sent and Tawanda expects that a total of about 1200 physicists will put pen to paper at the APS.