ASM Supports Research Investment to Secure the Economy (RISE) Act

June 25, 2020

On June 24, 2020, the American Society for Microbiology issued the following letter thanking House Representatives Diana DeGette and Fred Upton for introducing the RISE Act, which supports additional funding for scientific research. This legislation responds to previous calls from Members of Congress and the research community to provide supplemental funding to researchers and students impacted by COVID-19-related shutdowns.

On July 24, ASM sent an identical letter to Senators Markey, Tillis, Peters, and Gardner. 

Dear Representative DeGette and Representative Upton:

On behalf of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), one of the largest life science societies composed of more than 30,000 scientists and health professionals, thank you for introducing the Research Investment to Secure the Economy (RISE) Act, which will provide much-needed supplemental funding for federally-funded research. Microbiologists, including those in clinical laboratories, are on the front lines of helping our nation address the unprecedented challenges SARS-COV-2 has presented to our society, our healthcare system and our economy.

Microbial science is a cross-cutting endeavor, and our members’ federally funded research is fundamental to advances in human health, agriculture, energy and the environment. As is the case in the overall economy, researchers, students, post-docs and lab personnel have had their work cut short due to COVID-19. This has implications not only for the research workforce – where hiring has been disrupted and employees furloughed – but also on the process of scientific discovery. Experiments will need to be restarted, animal colonies repopulated and fieldwork rescheduled for an indeterminate later time. The longer the slowdown continues, the more serious the consequences will be, especially for the people who comprise the research workforce, including graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators, laboratory and technical support staff.

ASM is deeply concerned about the serious consequences of these ongoing disruptions to the broader research enterprise. The RISE Act will address this by authorizing approximately $26 billion in much-needed supplemental funding for federal research agencies, to mitigate the negative scientific and economic effects of the COVID-19-related laboratory closures and disruptions on research already in progress. While our nation’s research capacity has demonstrated it can absorb shocks, the scale of this one is still growing and unprecedented in duration and impact. As such, it is vital that Congress enact measures to increase support for the research enterprise by passing the RISE Act.

Stefano Bertuzzi, PhD, MPH
ASM Chief Executive Officer

Author: ASM Advocacy

ASM Advocacy
ASM Advocacy is making it easy and providing opportunities for members to advocate for evidence-based scientific policy.