WHAT'S NEW (in my opinion), Friday, 11 Feb 1994 Washington, DC 1. THE CLINTON BUDGET FOR F
WHAT'S NEW (in my opinion), Friday, 11 Feb 1994 Washington, DC
1. THE CLINTON BUDGET FOR FY 95: HOW WELL DID SCIENCE REALLY DO? Congress
is asked to increase spending for civilian and military R&D by 4%. Sounds
pretty good in a year of cuts and caps, but it would represent the smallest
percentage of the Gross Domestic Product spent on R&D since 1958, according
to Rep. George Brown (D-CA). Moreover, most of the growth is in technology
rather than research aimed at understanding nature ("understanding" is the
politically correct replacement for "curiosity driven" which is said to have
a frivolous ring to it). The shift from defense R&D to civilian, promised
by the Administration, did not materialize.
2. NIST: AFTER YEARS OF NEGLECT, A WHOPPING 78% INCREASE IN R&D! And it's
all aimed at near-term support for industry. Advanced Technology Programs
and Manufacturing Extension Partnerships both would be doubled in a single
year by the President's request.
3. NASA: HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT TAKES A CUT; SCIENCE IS UP--A LITTLE. The Earth
Observing System is the big winner; it would increase by 20% to $1.2B.
Rumors notwithstanding, the Cassini Mission to Saturn and the Advanced X-Ray
Astrophysics Facility are both on track. The only new science program is a
fast/cheap replacement for the vanished Mars Observer. Called the "Mars
Surveyor," it would launch an orbitor in 1996 followed by a series of
4. NSF: RESEARCH WOULD GO UP 8.3%; EDUCATION WOULD INCREASE 2.9%. But in
recent years, Congress has insisted on giving NSF more for education than it
requests and less for research. Continuing the emphasis on the near term,
Computer Science and Engineering would get a 13.7% increase, while only a
6.1% increase is requested for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Materials
would go up just 5.3%, due largely to flat funding for Centers; Physics is
up 6%. The big winner is Social Science, up 15% after several bad years.
5. DOE: FUNDAMENTAL SCIENCE RESEARCH WOULD BE CUT BY 14 PERCENT. The total
DOE request is 2.6% below this years appropriation. The decrease in
fundamental science is accounted for by termination of the SSC, but there is
concern that the $180M budgeted for SSC termination is inadequate. Nuclear
Physics is down 14% while Solar and Renewable Energy is up 14%. Basic Energy
Sciences is down 6% while fusion is up 8%. The budget would provide $27M to
initiate construction of the Advanced Neutron Source. "The goals of the
Department of Energy in FY 95," Secretary O'Leary explained, "will be to
create jobs, reduce emissions, move technology into the marketplace and
increase competitiveness and exports."
6. ON MONDAY, DOE WILL PRESENT THE LAWRENCE AWARD TO YOON CHANG of Argonne
for "Leadership in all aspects of the Integral Fast Reactor Program, an
advanced nuclear energy concept with improved safety, more efficient use of
fuel and less radioactive waste." Last Monday, the Clinton budget called
for terminating the IFRP.
Robert L. Park email@example.com The American Physical Society
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank