The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) supports the proposed International Science and Technology Cooperation (ISTC) Act, which would establish an interagency committee, under the direction of the National Science and Technology Council, to coordinate and improve the efficiency of U.S. research efforts.
In 2009, the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support by a vote of 341-52, but it was never taken up by the Senate. It was reintroduced yesterday by U.S. Representatives Russ Carnahan (D-Missouri) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Florida Republican who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, with nine other Republican and Democratic co-sponsors.
Carnahan said in a statement that the legislation would “identify and coordinate the U.S. interagency strategy for international S&T cooperation in order to strengthen the U.S. S&T enterprise, improve economic and national security, and support U.S. foreign policy goals.” The ISTC Act also would make recommendations for improving U.S. engagement in S&T cooperation with America’s global partners to ensure U.S. leadership in research and discovery, he added.
“AAAS is pleased to officially express its support for the proposed International Science and Technology Cooperation Act, an effort to identify opportunities for new global cooperative research and training partnerships,” said Joanne Carney, the association’s director of Government Relations. “Interagency coordination of science and technology research initiatives is an important strategy to eliminate redundancy, improve efficiency, and promote innovation and U.S. competitiveness at a global level.”
Vaughan Turekian, AAAS chief international officer and director of the Center for Science Diplomacy, noted that science is an area that benefits from the support of both major U.S. political parties. “It is particularly encouraging to see that international science cooperation is being reaffirmed by Congress,” he said.
“As scientific issues become ever more global, it is essential for the United States to develop a coherent approach to addressing scientific challenges and opportunities,” he added.
Other co-sponsors of the International Science and Technology Cooperation Act are U.S. Representatives Judy Biggert (R-Illinois); David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island); Eliot L. Engel (D-New York); Rush Holt (D-New Jersey); Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; Daniel Lipinski (D-Illinois); Brad Miller (D-North Carolina); James Moran (D-Virginia); and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia).