July 20, 2023

AGU endorses the Mercury 13 Congressional Gold Medal Act

Posted by Caitlin Bergstrom

On 18 July 2023, AGU sent a letter to the office of Representative Chrissy Houlahan endorsing the Mercury 13 Congressional Gold Medal Act.

On behalf of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and our global community of more than half a million Earth and space scientists and allies, I am writing to thank you for crafting and introducing the Mercury 13 Congressional Gold Medal Act and to offer AGU’s official endorsement for this important bill.

We applaud the bill’s goal of honoring the groundbreaking efforts of the thirteen women in the FLATS program. Although an inspiration to early female astronauts, the stories of the FLATS participants are unfortunately little known to many across the country. To support the next generation of STEM innovators and leaders required to address our 21st century challenges, we will need to ensure that the scientific workforce is as broad and diverse as possible. Honoring and amplifying the story of these thirteen women will help to inspire even more women and diverse students.

Building an inclusive scientific community is one of AGU’s goals. This bill demonstrates that our country has long had a diverse STEM talent pool and will inspire STEM students from all backgrounds in the future. Given our strong shared interests in the goals of this legislation, AGU appreciates your leadership and looks forward to working with you as the legislation advances.