Saturday, February 07, 2009

Physics vs. Medicine in the Stimulus Bill

It may have happened again.

Remember all those optimism regarding funding for DOE and NSF in the Stimulus bill? And remember when I said that I am not going to buy all this until I see the money? Well, my pessimism may be justified.

The bill that has been agreed to may have cut the money going to DOE and NSF.

According to a version of a memo describing the cuts, the stimulus for N.S.F. and the energy department’s Office of Science would be cut to zero and there would be cuts to the NASA and NIST portions as well.

Clay Westrope, Sen. Nelson’s spokesman, said the senator was not anti-science, but that he felt the stimulus bill was the wrong place to add financing for long-term research. “If they were in a spending bill, he would probably support them,” Mr. Westrope said.

Mr. Westrope said he could not explain why biomedical research was regarded as a stimulus, but physics research would not.

The NIH should be given the responsibility to construct its own synchrotron centers and use some of the obscene amount of money it gets, rather than benefiting from the physical sciences and their facilities. Maybe then, the people in congress can get their heads out of the hole in the ground and see who supports what.


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