About Science Policy
Capitol Hill

The Science Policy Office deals with issues that affect scientists and their work, particularly federal research funding and animal research. Our webpages provide news, background information, action alerts, and insights into becoming an advocate for biomedical research.

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If you have questions or comments, please email SciencePolicy@the-aps.org

Policy Statements

Air Transport of Animals Advances Human and Animal Welfare

Air transportation is essential so scientists can work with animal models that otherwise would not be available for life-saving research. Moreover, it is the most humane transportation option for the animals themselves.

Requirements for APS Journal Authors Reporting Animal Studies

The APS underscores its commitment to the humane treatment of animals by requiring that steps be taken to ensure animal welfare if research studies are to be published in APS journals.

Guiding Principles for the Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research and Training

Animal experiments are to be undertaken only with the purpose of advancing knowledge. Consideration should be given to the appropriateness of experimental procedures, species of animals used, and number of animals required.

APS Condemns Extremism and Harassment

The American Physiological Society unequivocally condemns the targeting of individuals engaged in legitimate scientific inquiry.

Animal Research is Essential to the Search for Cures

A brief statement reaffirming the Society’s commitment to humane animal research.

On the Use of Animals in Teaching

The study of living systems is an essential component of physiology instruction. Teaching laboratories that actively engage students in observation of and interaction with living systems enhance student understanding of physiology.

Using Animals in Teaching: Position Statement Rationale

Position statements are, by definition, brief, and typically do not capture the detailed analysis and discussion of the complex issues that they summarize. Therefore, it is important to provide additional information to help orient the reader to the discussion that shaped the position statement.

Principles for the Use of Animals in Research and Education

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) affirms the essential contribution of animals in research and education aimed at improving the health of both humans and animals. The role of animals remains critical in understanding the fundamental processes of life, and in developing treatments for injury and disease. Members of the constituent Societies of FASEB believe that the use of animals in research and education is a privilege. This imposes a major responsibility to provide for their proper care and humane treatment. Good animal care and good science go hand-in-hand.

Testimony Archive

NIH FY 2015

The APS supports an NIH net funding level of $32 billion in FY 2015. (PDF)

Hearing on Driving Innovation through Federal Investments

APSsubmitted testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee on "Driving Innovation Through Federal Investments." The hearing focused on the role of federal investments in sparking innovation and discovery that save lives, improve our national security, create American jobs and grow our economy. (PDF)

NSF & NASA FY 2015

The APS supports a net FY 2015 NSF budget of $7.6 billion, a restoration of NASA’s life sciences research budgets, and an increase of funding for the NASA Human Research Program. (PDF)

Comments & Letters

APS Comments on Field of Degree Question

In response to a request for comment from the United States Census Bureau, APS spoke out in support of retaining a question about undergraduate field of degree on the annual American Community Survey. The data gathered in response to this question is used by the National Science Foundation to prepare their Science and Engineering Indicators and Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering reports. The National Science Board has also submitted a letter opposing the removal. For more background on this issue, including the politics that led to the proposed elimination, see this article in ScienceInsider.

APS Advises NIH on Sex as a Biological Variable

On September 11, 2014 NIH issued a Request for Information (RFI, NOT-OD-14-128) to assist NIH develop policies for the inclusion of sex as a biological variable in pre-clinical research studies involving animals and cells. The APS response recommends starting with accurate reporting of the sex of animal subjects and organisms from which biological materials were derived. NIH should provide training for investigators and reviewers before implementing the policy. APS also said additional resources will be needed to implement this policy without detriment to ongoing research. The APS comments are available on the Science Policy website.

APS Advocacy

APS Members Urge Congress to Invest in Research, Regulate Sensibly

2014 coverage of the Capitol Hill visits by the Science Policy Committee and the Animal Care and Experimentation Committee in The Physiologist.

APS Committees Visit Capitol Hill

2013: The Physiologist coverage of two APS Committees' Hill Days.

Science Policy Committee Meets with NHLBI Director

2012: The APS President Sue Barman and the Science Policy Committee met with NHLBI Director Garry Gibbons Oct 2.