State of the Union focuses on research, education and innovation

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Calling this “our generation’s Sputnik moment,” President Obama emphasized the national need for continued robust support of research and development in his State of the Union address last week: “We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology — an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.” President Obama specifically cited the need for research and incentives as a way to “break our dependence on oil with biofuels.”

Members of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) are engaged in research that helps address national priorities and advance basic scientific understanding. ASPB executive director Crispin Taylor explained that “research on plants is leading us toward solutions to key challenges, including developing sustainable fuels, identifying new treatments for human disease, and producing more nutritious foods.”

The ASPB membership is also dedicated to educating and preparing the next generation of scientists and citizens who can help the nation maintain its leadership in research and technology.

“Even in a time of budgetary concerns, we are gratified to see President Obama’s commitment to investment in scientific innovation, discovery, and education,” said ASPB president Nicholas C. Carpita. “These investments are vital to our nation’s food, energy, and environmental security and will help drive the country’s economic success. ASPB stands ready to work with the White House and members of Congress from both parties to sustain our national investment in science and innovation.”

ASPB is a professional scientific society, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, devoted to the advancement of the plant sciences worldwide. With a membership of nearly 5,000 plant scientists from throughout the United States and more than 50 other nations, the Society publishes two of the most widely cited plant science journals: The Plant Cell and Plant Physiology. For more information about ASPB, please visit http://www.aspb.org/. Also follow ASPB on Twitter @ASPB.

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