Issue Date: March 15, 2004
Lack of basic science funding criticized by House committee
The funding for basic scientific research in the proposed fiscal 2005 budget is insufficient, according to an analysis released by the House Science Committee. "The Science Committee urges Congress to recognize the importance and contributions of science and technology to productivity and economic growth and--consequently--fiscal security" of the U.S., the committee writes. The committee's annual report argues for a balance between spending on defense and nondefense R&D as well as between biomedical and nonbiomedical R&D. For example, the committee acknowledges the contributions of DOD and NIH to research, but "urges that similar attention be given to other important R&D agencies, such as NSF, the Department of Energy, and NIST." The report also notes that the committee's top objective will be to "evaluate and consider" the President's new space exploration initiative. The Democrats on the committee released their own report, which recommends increased funding for science and energy R&D; additional study of the space exploration initiative; and full funding of the Commerce Department's Manufacturing Extension Program and the Advanced Technology Partnership, as well as other agencies' cooperative government-industry-university programs. These programs face deep cuts in the proposed budget (C&EN, Feb. 16, page 45).
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