Energy Sciences Coalition issues letter to Biden’s DOE transition team

December 18, 2020, 12:01PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Energy Sciences Coalition (ESC) issued a letter today to the incoming Biden administration’s transition team for the Department of Energy. The ESC is a broad-based group of organizations representing scientists, engineers, and mathematicians from universities, industry, and national laboratories that is committed to supporting and advancing the scientific research programs of the DOE and, in particular, the DOE Office of Science.

Committee importance: The letter also touches on the importance of the Office of Science’s federal advisory committees, referring to the recent report from the Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee on a long-term plan for fusion energy and plasma science. These committees help establish consensus across the scientific community and help inform policy for the Office of Science, which supports the DOE national laboratories, “the crown jewels of the nation's research and innovation ecosystem.”

Science at scale: This network of national laboratories allows science at scale. The letter points out as evidence the nation’s COVID-19 response. “The DOE Office of Science established multi-disciplinary teams from all 17 national labs to address critical needs,” the letter states, and then lists a number of examples including “improving capabilities for and ensuring effective detection of infection; expediting the discovery of therapeutic drugs, including antibodies and antivirals, to complement vaccine development; and providing epidemiological and logistical support to federal, state, and local decisionmakers to more accurately forecast disease transmission.”

The appendix: The letter includes an appendix that goes into more detail on the Office of Science’s contributions, including sponsoring vital research, preparing the next generation of American scientific and engineering talent, stewarding world-class scientific facilities, supporting U.S. economic growth, and ensuring national security.

In conclusion: The ESC letter concludes, “The United States must maintain its leadership in science, technology, and innovation, and the DOE Office of Science plays a pivotal and leading role in addressing this country’s energy, national security, and environmental challenges.”

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