Talking Points on Federal Employee Conference Travel

  • As a scientist and constituent of your [district/state], I strongly encourage you to support Federal employees’ participation in non-governmental scientific conferences.
  • The language in the GSA Act of 2012 (H.R. 4631) and Senate amendment to 21st Century Postal Services Accountability Act (S.1789), threatens to damage essential communication among scientists.
  •  The exchange of ideas and review of results is integral to scientific integrity and the scientific process.
  • At scientific conferences, scientists from academia, industry, and government, as well as students studying to become scientists, come together to formally present and discuss each other’s research, share concepts, and potentially solve the complex problems facing our nation.
  • Government attendance at scientific meetings not only fosters collaboration and future partnerships between government scientists and academia and industry, but the collaboration and exchange of ideas also avoids duplicative scientific efforts.
  •  Non-governmental scientific conferences, like the AGU Fall Meeting, are largely renowned for the quality and depth of their educational programs.
  • The proposed cap for agency support of conferences in the Act limits flexibility and prevents an agency’s discretion of priorities in conference participation in achieving its mandate.

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