Science Policy Archives - 2013 (and prior)

ESA Letters to Congress Regarding Open Access Publications (December 20, 2013)
ESA is supportive of the 24-month embargo period for covered material outlined in Section 302 of the FIRST Act. A 24-month embargo period will go a long way to ensure journal viability and, thus, scientific societies’ financial health. ESA would like to thank you, again, for including this vital provision in the discussion draft and we hope it will be included in any final bill.

Support for Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research in 2013 Farm Bill (November 4, 2013)
The undersigned support the provision to establish a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) in the Senate-passed Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 (Sec. 7601). The provision provides an initial investment of $200 million in mandatory funding to match private funding.

Farm Bill Coalition Letter Sent to House & Senate Ag Committee Members (October 28, 2013)
Farm bills represent a delicate balance between America’s farm, nutrition, conservation, and other priorities, and accordingly require strong bipartisan support from both houses of Congress.

AFRI Coalition Letter to Rep. Frank Lucas on the 2013 Farm Bill (October 24, 2013)
The Coalition supports efforts to solve current and future challenges facing agriculture by engaging a diversity of stakeholders within the agricultural research community, to develop new opportunities for American agriculture, and to bring innovations from laboratory or field to farmers and the marketplace...

Government Shutdown is Bugging Entomologists (October 8, 2013)
The recent government shutdown due to a stalemate in Congress over funding for 2014 is impacting research on insects which will affect the lives of many Americans, according to the Entomological Society of America.

Tips for Effective Meetings with Policymakers (September 30, 2013)
This guide was created to help scientists get involved in science policy. The document provides an overview of the logistics of how to arrange a meeting with a federal or state elected official, tips for a successful meeting, and advice on how to prepare an effective message.

ESA Leaders Visit Capitol Hill (September 23, 2013)
On September 16, 2013, ESA President Robert N. Wiedenmann, Vice President Frank G. Zalom, and Executive Director C. David Gammel met in Washington, DC with a variety of legislative staff to discuss issues related to entomology.

Scientists to Meet with State and Federal Lawmakers (July 31, 2013)
The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) and the Entomological Society of America (ESA) have announced the start of the 5th Annual Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event. This national initiative encourages scientists across the nation to showcase for federal and state lawmakers the people, facilities, and equipment required to conduct scientific research.

The 2008 Farm Bill: Making an Impact Through NIFA (July, 2013)
The U.S.Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) was established by the Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) to find innovative solutions to issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and communities. By making the right investments in science at the right time, NIFA enables the scientific community to make great discoveries, helps turn discovery into innovation, and encourages meaningful solutions that improve the food and agriculture sector, the environment, and the quality of people’s lives in the United States.

ESA Supports National Plant Science Initiative (June 26, 2013)
ESA recently agreed to support an initiative by the American Society of Plant Biologists and others on determining specific research priorities for the next decade of plant science research. The "National Plant Science Initiative" identifies areas of research that would be important to address grand challenges in agriculture, health, energy, and the environment, and prioritizes these areas into “must do’s” over the next ten years. The initiative is also supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The full report will be posted here in the future.

Letter to Senator Harry Reid Regarding Federal Employee Participation in Conferences (May 29, 2013)
OMB Memorandum M-12-12 is restricting the open exchange of ideas among scientists, engineers, and technologists, and thereby adversely affecting important national interests by throttling back on the U.S. “innovation engine.” We ask that you address this issue to prevent it from hampering the legitimate and necessary interactions among scientists and researchers.

Coalition of Scientific Organizations Defends NSF Peer Review (May 20, 2013)
More than 100 organizations, including the Entomological Society of America, have signed a letter to Congress in defense of peer review.  The statement was prompted by recent congressional actions that called into question the merit review process used by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to award research grants.

Report from ESA's Liaison to the EPA (April 26, 2013)
Dr. Mark Whalon, ESA's Subject Matter Expert and Liaison to the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, has submitted his second report about meetings with EPA officials. The report includes meetings with the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC), and other EPA staff about neonicotinoids and their effects on bees and birds, and on issues surrounding flonicamid 9c (IUPAC: N-cyanomethyl-4-(trifluoromethyl) a nicotinamide with efficacy on aphids, whiteflies, plant bugs, plant hoppers and scale insects.

Guiding Principles for the America COMPETES Act Reauthorization (April 19, 2013)
Driven in large part by Congressional approval of the America COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010, there has been some progress toward achieving the goals set forth in the National Academies’ 2007 report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm. However, there is still much to do, and, despite the tremendous fiscal challenges currently facing the nation, now is not the time for us to back away from our commitment to increasing the productivity of our national science and technology enterprise.

Letter to the Office of Management and Budget Concerning Federal Employee Participation in Conferences (April 17, 2013)
As OMB Memorandum M-12-12 is currently being interpreted and implemented, it is having the unintentional consequence of restricting the open exchange of ideas among scientists, engineers, and technologists, and thereby adversely affecting important national interests by throttling back on the U.S. innovation engine.

Report from ESA's Liaison to the EPA (March 21, 2013)
Dr. Mark Whalon, ESA's Subject Matter Expert and Liaison to the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, has submitted a report about his meetings with EPA officials in the first quarter of 2013. Dr. Whalon invites comments from ESA members on proposed terminology on insectide resistance, and on whether the current emergency exemption processes under FIFRA and FQPA will be sufficient to address the rising tide of invasive arthropod species.

ESA Launches New Science Policy Program and Partnership with AIBS (February 21, 2013)
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) and the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) announced today a new partnership that will provide ESA members with an even stronger voice in the nation’s science policy debates.

Entomologists Offer Help to Field Museum of Natural History (January 7, 2013)
While acknowledging that the museum faces financial hardships and that action must be taken to ensure its survival, Dr. Wiedenmann offered to provide help from members of ESA, which once faced a similar situation.

ESA Creates New Science Policy Committee (January 2, 2013)
The Entomological Society of America recently created a new Presidential Committee charged with leading the effort to establish a science policy agenda for ESA that will guide and focus the Society's outreach efforts with governments, NGOs, and other organizations.

Letter from the AFRI Coalition to the President and Leadership of the U.S. Congress on Fiscal Challenges to Agricultural Research Programs (December 13, 2012)
On behalf of the agricultural sciences research community, the AFRI Coalition asks you to find a bipartisan compromise that prevents the “fiscal cliff” from occurring. We encourage you to work to find long-term solutions to our nation’s fiscal difficulties without jeopardizing the backbone of this nation’s economy – research and development (R&D).

Report to the President on Agricultural Preparedness and the Agriculture Research Enterprise (December, 2012)
By the Executive Office of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology:  This report addresses the scientific challenges facing the Nation’s agricultural research enterprise and makes recommendations on how to refocus and rebalance the Federal Government’s support of agricultural research to enable U.S. farmers to meet the critical challenges facing U.S. agriculture in the 21st century. PCAST calls for increased public investment in agricultural research to meet these growing challenges, and recommends that the Department of Agriculture make some important changes in the way it administers research funds, in particular an expansion of competitive opportunities for both intramural and extramural research.

Three Leading Scientific Societies Take an Objective Look at the Issues Associated with “Least Toxic Pesticides” Applied as a “Last Resort” (November 12, 2012)
Recommendations and decisions to use “least toxic pesticides” and “pesticides as a last resort” have flourished in the last decade, but according to three scientific organizations – the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section of the Entomological Society of America (P-IE ESA) – these are not the correct approaches to the pesticide component of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

The Green Frontier: A Unified Vision for Plant Research (PDF) (October 24, 2012)
This document reflects some of the discussions and opinions exchanged during the September, 2011 Plant Science Research Summit.

ESA Selects Liaison to EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (October 1, 2012)
Dr. Mark E. Whalon, professor of entomology and the director of the Center for Integrated Plant Systems at Michigan State University, has been selected by the Entomological Society of America (ESA) as its second Subject Matter Expert (SME) and Liaison to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs. Dr. Whalon succeeds Dr. Gene Reagan of Louisiana State University, who clearly demonstrated the value of the role to the US-EPA and the ESA.

CSAW Calls for Support for Agricultural Challenges (February 1, 2012)
The Coalition for a Sustainable Agricultural Workforce (CSAW), of which ESA is a member, sent a clear message to DC this week: help prevent the spread of misconceptions about agriculture and support increasing agricultural research and education funding to meet the challenge of feeding the world.

1,200 Speak Up for Agricultural Research Funding (October 19, 2011)
More than 1,200 individuals, companies, organizations, educational and research institutions, and other stakeholders have joined together to stress the vital importance of robust research funding for food and agriculture.

Scientists Concerned about Pesticide Education Funding (September 13, 2011)
Scientists with the Entomological Society of America (ESA), the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), and the American Phytopathological Society (APS) recently expressed concern about the precarious state of the U.S. Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP).

New Website Provides Information on Pesticide Stewardship (August 15, 2010)
The Center for Integrated Pest Management (CIPM) has announced the launch of a new Pesticide Environmental Stewardship (PES) website.

New ESA Liaison to EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (July 15, 2010)
Dr. Thomas E. “Gene” Reagan, Austin C. Thompson Distinguished Professor of Entomology at Louisiana State University and the LSU Agricultural Center, has been selected as the first ESA Subject Matter Expert and Liaison to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs.

ESA Open Letter to NIFA and AFRI (June 30, 2010)
On June 7, 2010, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) wrote a letter to the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) concerning the 2010 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and the potential unintended consequences of the scope and implementation of the AFRI Request for Applications.