ASM Encourages Swift Passage of DEI in STEM Bills

Jan. 20, 2021

On Jan. 20, 2021, ASM issued the following letter thanking the House Science Committee for introducing a set of diversity, equity and inclusion bills early in the 117th Congress.
Dear Chairwoman Johnson and Ranking Member Lucas:

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) strongly supports legislation that fosters diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) fields. As one of the oldest and largest life science societies, composed of 30,000 scientists and health professionals in the United States and around the world, our mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences. ASM appreciates the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s ongoing bipartisan commitment to basic, translational and applied research and the infrastructure needed to support that research.

The best science is conducted when research environments are diverse and inclusive. Harassment in any form or for any reason undermines the facilitation of good science. To that end, ASM supports and strongly encourages swift passage of the:
  • Combatting Sexual Harassment in STEM Act, which addresses the pervasive nature of sexual harassment in academia. 
  • STEM Opportunities Act, which provides guidance, data collection and grants for groups historically underrepresented in STEM education at institutions of higher education (IHEs) and at federal science agencies.
  • MSI STEM Achievement Act, which supports efforts to increase STEM education at minority-serving institutions of higher education.
We strongly support the Committee’s efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce, as we believe government has an important role to play in terms of efforts to both increase diversity and to prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment. Together, we can promote an environment that both allows for the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas and promotes equal opportunities and respectful treatment for all. ASM and its members look forward to the next steps in this endeavor and stand ready to assist you.


Allen D. Segal
ASM Director of Public Policy and Advocacy

Author: ASM Advocacy

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