Of Note: Selected Quotations from FYI in 2012

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Publication date: 
4 January 2013

“Congress’s tolerance for these types of over-runs has run out.” – House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) on James Webb Space Telescope

“Public investment in innovative technologies and infrastructure not only creates jobs, it lays the foundation for private sector job creation.” – Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)

“Innovation also demands basic research.” – President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address.

“We’re depending a great deal on being at the technological edge of the future.” – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta

“To succeed in the global market place we need to develop not only our mines, but also our minds.” – Department of Energy Assistant Secretary David Sandalow on energy critical materials

“This information clearly shows we must re-examine long-held assumptions about the global dominance of the American science and technology enterprise.” - National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh commenting at the release of “Science and Engineering Indicators 2012”

“If we invite the team that wins the Super Bowl to the White House, then we need to invite some science fair winners to the White House as well.”  – President Obama at White House Science Fair

“Bowing to public opposition and budget constraints, Congress short-circuited the siting process and focused all of our efforts on Yucca Mountain.  That has now proved to have been a mistake.” – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) at hearing on Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future

“We think, and the President thinks, that it is absolutely key to the country’s future to continue to make these investments in research and development and STEM education in order to have the sort of future that I think all Americans want and expect.” – Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren commenting on FY 2013 budget request

“We are committed; we remain committed to keeping the NSF, DOE Office of Science and the NIST laboratories on a rising trajectory.  Clearly the budget constraints under which we now operate have made the goal of doubling more difficult.” –OSTP Director Holdren

“If this isn’t fixed we’re going to lose the capability of these laboratories.  This has just got to be fixed . . . the stakes are very, very high here.”  -  Charles Curtis, a member of a National Research Council committee charged with reviewing the management and the conduct of scientific research and engineering at the three National Security Laboratories

“I have been a longtime supporter of federal R&D.” – House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA)

“I can’t tell you how distressed I am.” – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on Administration’s request to reduce NASA’s Planetary Science Program funding in FY 2013

“We'll do our best to help communicate that to our colleagues and to the country in this difficult time, that there is no better investment in the future of the nation than in pure scientific research encumbered by politics.” – Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) at NSF appropriations hearing

“Additional money for any program is going to be exceedingly difficult to come by.” – House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) at a hearing on the DOE Office of Science request

“While globalization and technology have dramatically increased the skills and qualifications required to succeed today, our schools are largely geared towards the assumptions of a 20th-century workplace. “ – Senate Health, Education Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA)

“Here's the question. Should the United States consider withdrawing from ITER or at least reducing the United States contribution?” – Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) at a hearing on the FY 2013 DOE budget request

“We are working with the fusion community in the United States as well as internationally to see if we can satisfy both the needs of the fusion community in the U.S. and this ITER commitment. But it's -- in these tight budget times, it's tough.” – Energy Secretary Steven Chu

“It’s not the data per se that create value, what really matters is our ability to derive from them new insights, to recognize relationships, to make increasingly accurate predictions.  Our ability, that is, to move from data, to knowledge, to action.” – OSTP Director Holdren discussing Big Data R&D Initiative

“The formal review and communication of research findings dates back several centuries. Over this time, it has certainly served society well. Scholars can argue over whether the existing structure, including peer review, is sufficient or if more can be done to ensure quality, but one thing is certain, society has greatly benefited from it.” – House Science subcommittee chairman  Paul Broun (R-GA) at House hearing examining public access to research results

“If we want to ensure that the ISS [International Space Station] carries out the needed research and technology activities in a timely and productive fashion, we have to be willing to make the needed investments. The ISS research budget is stagnating, and the agency’s life and microgravity sciences budget has been cut deeply over the past decade. That does not seem to me to be a formula for success.” – House Science Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

“I can’t pull a rabbit out of the hat.  I don‘t have a rabbit and I don’t have a hat.” – Senate Appropriation Subcommittee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) on tight budget constraints and NASA’s budget

“I’m very confident that James Webb is on track.” – NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

“Climate change is a big issue in the world we live in. It affects our economy, our ability to move goods. We've had the most severe weather season we've had in history over the last twelve months at a cost of a billion-plus dollars. Our ability to understand the weather and the climate and its impact on business and industry and agriculture is critically important.”  – House Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Chaka Fatah (D-PA) speaking in opposition to an amendment to eliminate funding for the NSF climate change education program

“We tried our very best in our bill to help those and all of the Department’s remarkable national laboratories, but our constraints did not afford us the luxury of bringing more money to the table in many cases. Many labs wanted money, and these are remarkable labs, and they are deserving as well.” -  Subcommittee Chairman Frelinghuysen during debate on the FY 2013 DOE funding bill

“I believe the administration and the Senate’s ongoing attempts to shut this activity [Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository] down are without scientific merit and are contrary, as has been said on the floor, to existing law and congressional direction.  Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the Federal Government has a responsibility to demonstrate its capability to meet its contractual obligation by addressing the spent fuel and other high-level nuclear waste at permanently shut down reactors.” – House Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Peter Visclosky (D-IN)

“Each nuclear submarine that the United States has has 96 independently targetable nuclear warheads. That means that every single nuclear commander of a submarine in the United States can destroy the entire country of Russia, can destroy the entire country of China - each American nuclear submarine commander - and neither Russia nor China knows where those submarines are. We should be proud of ourselves. We are 10-feet tall compared to the Russians, compared to the Chinese.” – Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) arguing for reduction in nuclear weapons technology funding in the FY 2013 DOE appropriations bill

“While a world without nuclear weapons would be my preference and while the U.S. must maintain its deterrent capability today, we should also maintain the capabilities necessary to ensure that they are safe and effective.” – Rep. Visclosky in reply to Rep. Markey

“It is time for us to renew a coherent long-term approach to energy development, truly an all of the above approach.  Innovation, of course, is absolutely at the core of that strategy.  I think it is one of the few areas where the government can and should be providing greater funding and at the same time, I am aware if we do decide to spend more on energy innovation, we are going to have to make some very difficult choices about the amount of spending and the duration as well as what our priorities are for it.”  - Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

“We are not giving up on high energy physics.” – OSTP Director Holdren when describing a planning process for new Fermilab facilities

“We must find a way out of this mess.  Our nuclear deterrent requires an effective and efficient steward.”  - House Armed Services Subcommittee Chairman Michael Turner (R-OH) at a hearing on NNSA management

“We may be heading for a crisis in many industries if we don’t face up to this issue.” - Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) at a hearing on the nation’s helium supply.

“When it comes to STEM fields--science, technology, engineering, and math--American universities set the standard. Our STEM graduates create the innovations and new businesses that fuel our economic growth and create jobs.  Many of the world's top students come to the U.S. to obtain advanced STEM degrees. But what happens to these foreign students after they graduate? Under the current system, we educate scientists and engineers only to send them back home where they often work for our competitors.  We could boost economic growth and spur job creation by enabling American employers to hire some of the best and brightest graduates of U.S. universities. These students become entrepreneurs, patent holders, and job creators.”  - Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)

“I cannot escape the conclusion that the agency is being asked to do too much with too little.” - Steven Squyres, Chairman of the NASA Advisory Council

“No matter what organization, funding, and storage decisions are made moving forward, a consent-based approach to siting is critical to success. The Administration supports working with Congress to develop a consent-based process that is transparent, adaptive, and technically sound.” – DOE Assistant Secretary Peter Lyons on future nuclear waste legislation

“Unacceptable and inexcusable” – NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino about a Y-12 National Security Complex incursion in July 2012

“I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions.  And as a consequence, I think we've got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.” – President Obama

“I am so pleased to see the working relationship that is beginning to develop here.” – Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) at an oversight hearing on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

“The Obama administration is committed to a robust Mars exploration program. With this next mission, we're ensuring America remains the world leader in the exploration of the Red Planet, while taking another significant step toward sending humans there in the 2030s." – NASA Administrator Bolden

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