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MIT Graduate Students Head To Capitol Hill To Deliver Petition In Support Of Research Funding

March 23, 2012

A contingent of science and engineering graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will deliver a petition in support of research funding to members of Congress on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Stand With Science is an effort to bring together America’s science and engineering graduate community and add their voice to the ongoing discussion about the federal deficit. (www.standwithscience.com)

“Stand With Science has drafted a letter to the members of congress, urging them to maintain science and engineering funding as a national priority,” said Samuel Brinton, one of the founders of Stand With Science. “With little more than word of mouth, this message has moved throughout the country, with over 10,000 graduate students, grad school alums and other supporters of innovation signing the letter. At a time when Congress is considering major budget cuts, we have mobilized the scientific community to protect critical federal investments that drive economic growth and keep America globally competitive.”

Over half a million graduate students and postdoctoral associates study science and engineering in the U.S. “These researchers form the bedrock labor force of the world’s best university R&D community.” Brinton added. “Federal research funding is essential to graduate education because research is our education.” Over 60 percent of university research is federally funded; private industry, accounts for only six percent of university research.

“Stand With Science urges Congress to find common ground to preserve the indispensable investments in science and engineering research that will drive our nation’s prosperity for generations,” said Brinton. In Massachusetts alone losses of more than $680 million in federal research funding could occur in 2013. Automatic spending cuts would severely damage the sustainability of world-class research being performed at the nation´s best universities.

The group plans to meet with the Massachusetts delegation and other key members of Congress and congressional staff during the day of action.

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