The science community is expressing disappointment in the final federal budget deal. This was the reaction from
“Short-sighted and short-changed” declared Dr. Mary Good, Chairman of ASTRA, the Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America, following last-minute changes in key science budgets by Congress and the Administration as lawmakers rush to adjourn before the Holidays.
“Reversing years of hard work, Congress and the Administration have been short-sighted in their haste to get a budget agreement — and they have short-changed America in the process” declared Good. “Only a few months ago, we achieved a refreshing consensus to begin the much-needed doubling of key science budgets under the America COMPETES Act,” said Good, adding “passage of the COMPETES Act recognized that America must increase its investment in physical sciences and engineering if it is to compete successfully in the future global economy. The COMPETES Act was bipartisan and signed by the President. It was a first step in insuring that future generations of Americans can be prepared for the competitive dynamics of a flat world.”
But, apparently, the actual final funding levels don’t come up to those set in the COMPETES Act.
The website of ScienceNOW had this to say:
The White House and Congress delivered a heavy blow to the hopes of the U.S. science community yesterday as part of a long-delayed final agreement on the 2008 federal budget. As a result, what began as a year of soaring rhetoric in support of science seems likely to end with agency officials and research advocates shaking their heads and wondering what went wrong.
I don’t know how other parts of the competitiveness agenda faired in the budget game between the Congress and the President. But after been promised much, the physical sciences are clearly not happy.