Act now! Save Your Science from Sequestration

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An important message 
We are asking YOU, the US-based SETI Institute Fans,  our followers on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to help us save science from sequestration. Send a FAX or write a letter and even send a tweet to your members of Congress. Today is the day you should act to save science!


The AAS is a member of a coalition of 3,200 national organizations named NDD United. The coalition has worked actively to communicate to Congress that a balanced approach to deficit reduction is necessary and that significant cuts to the non-defense discretionary (NDD) portion of the federal budget called for by the 2011 balanced budget amendment in the form of a sequester would have wide-ranging and negative impacts. The sequester is scheduled to be implemented on March 1st.

The White House budget office estimates that this $85 billion sequester will require across-the-board cuts of five percent for non-defense discretionary programs and eight percent for defense discretionary programs. With only seven months left in FY 2013, the effective cuts for some programs could even reach nine percent for non-defense and 13 percent for defense. While we cannot predict specific programmatic impacts at this point, these additional cu ts will clearly mean fewer grants, deferred missions, layoffs of contractor personnel, and furloughs of Federal employees.

NDD United delivered a letter to Congress on February 11th  ( and is calling for all members of the Coalition to speak out to their member of Congress via Twitter on Thursday, February 14th.

AAS members may also make contact directly by phone, fax, or letter, if they do not use Twitter or are unfamiliar with its use. Sending email is not an efficient way of communicating with Congress, so do not utilize this communication medium.

What You Can Do Today

The AAS asks all members to take a moment today to contact their members of Congress.

If you use Twitter, use your members’ twitter handle and the sample tweets below to make your voice heard. A slightly outdated but complete list of members’ twitter handles are available here: and here:

If you’d prefer to make a call, send a FAX or write a letter, use the AAS’ Contacting Congress resource to find your members’ office numbers [ ]. A brief message indicating that you want your member of Congress to take a balanced approach to deficit reduction and that you are against the sequester will be sufficient. Specifics are not required at this time.

Template & Sample Tweets from the NDD United are appended below. BE SURE TO



We need to invest in education, public safety, research, & infrastructure [ insert member twitter handle]. #NoMoreCuts to these vital areas!


We need to invest in education, public safety, research, & infrastructure @MaxBaucus.
#NoMoreCuts to these vital areas!



Discretionary investments have already been cut by nearly $1.5 trillion. [insert member twitter handle] make sure there are #NoMoreCuts! #sequester


Discretionary investments have already been cut by nearly $1.5 trillion. @MaxBaucus make sure there are #NoMoreCuts! #sequester


Template (links to NDD national sign-on letter)

Remember [insert member twitter handle], over 3200 groups want you to say #NoMoreCuts to discretionary investments! #sequester


Remember @MaxBaucus, over 3200 groups want you to say #NoMoreCuts to discretionary investments! #sequester



#Sequestration means an 5.1% cut to #[insert issue area of concern] funding in 2013. [insert member twitter handle] make sure there are #NoMoreCuts!


#Sequestration means an 5.1% cut to #education funding in 2013. @MaxBaucus make sure there are #NoMoreCuts!


Template (links to AIA jobs loss report)

Discretionary cuts to #[insert issue area of concern] harm the #economy! [insert member twitter handle] say #NoMoreCuts!


Discretionary cuts to #education harm the #economy! [insert member twitter handle] say #NoMoreCuts!





About Franck Marchis

Dr. Franck Marchis is a Senior Researcher and Chair of the Exoplanet Group at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute since July 2007. Over the past 19 years, he has dedicated his research to the study of our solar system, specifically the search for asteroids with moons, using mainly ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics. More recently, he has been also involved in the definition of new generation of AOs for 8 -10 m class telescopes and future Extremely Large Telescopes. He has developed algorithms to process and enhance the quality of images, both astronomical and biological. His currently involved in the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey, which consists in imaging exoplanets using an extreme AO system for the Gemini South telescope. This new instrument is capable of imaging and recording spectra of young Jupiter-like exoplanets orbiting around nearby stars.

2 Responses to Act now! Save Your Science from Sequestration

  1. John Teglas says:

    Doesn’t everybody know that these budget cuts are mostly for facade research, and development industries. A front for ultra black budget insidious spending which is estimated at 2.3 TRILLION dollars of congressional oversight in the name of secrecy in a two year period. It’s like comparing two physics professors, and a hand full of grad students working on a university project versus the thousands of people working in the private sector for a national defence contractor in development.

    My point in all this is lets skim some of that black budgeted under the table money to make up the difference…. Oh that’s right secrecey has to answer to no one….

  2. Amparo says:

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that will make the largest changes. Many thanks for sharing!

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