Thursday, January 15, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009

Is this for real?

In case you haven't seen it yet, the US House Appropriations Committee has released details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009. The summary for the appropriations can be found here. A few salient points (at least for this blogger) are:

National Science Foundation: $3 billion, including $2 billion for expanding employment opportunities in fundamental science and engineering to meet environmental challenges and to improve global economic competitiveness, $400 million to build major research facilities that perform cutting edge science, $300 million for major research equipment shared by institutions of higher education and other scientists, $200 million to repair and modernize science and engineering research facilities at the nation’s institutions of higher education and other science labs, and $100 million is also included to improve instruction in science, math and engineering.

Department of Energy: $1.9 billion for basic research into the physical sciences including high-energy physics, nuclear physics, and fusion energy sciences and improvements to DOE laboratories and scientific facilities. $400 million is for the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy to support high-risk, high-payoff research into energy sources and energy efficiency.

This is VERY nice. However, as we have seen before, it is one thing to WANT to do such a thing. It is another to have it approved, and another to actually GIVE the money that was promised. Remember the America Competes Act? After it was passed with so much promise, the science budget was summarily CUT instead of the promised increase.

So thanks, but I've heard this tune before. Show me the money, and then I'll believe you.


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