ASM Endorses RISE Act of 2021 to Support Research

Feb. 9, 2021

ASM issued letters to House and Senate legislators in support of the reintroduction of the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act, originally introduced in 2020 in response to COVID-19. 

Dear Representative DeGette and Representative Upton:
Dear Senators Markey, Tillis, Peters and Collins:

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 Spark 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. ASM is deeply concerned about the serious consequences of the ongoing disruptions to the broader research enterprise. The RISE Act will address this by authorizing approximately $25 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.

As is the case in the overall economy, researchers, students, post-docs and lab personnel have had their work interrupted 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 graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators, laboratory and technical staff.

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, Ph.D., M.P.H.
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.