Friday, January 16, 2009

Economic Stimulus: Where Does Research Fit In?

A draft of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 was released on Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee. The short term goal of the bill is to create and save 3 to 4 million jobs this year. The long term goal is to build a more sustainable economy, one that will enable a promising and affordable future for everyone.

So what does this mean for science and research? According to the Executive Summary, $10 billion will be allotted for science facilities, research, and instrumentation. Additionally, $141.6 billion will be allotted to strengthening education, which will provide better facilities and programs to teach future scientists!

The Executive Summary provides a great breakdown of allocations within the Scientific Research category. To briefly mention a few….
• National Science Foundation: $3 billion
• National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research: $2 billion
• University Research Facilities (via NIH): $1.5 billion
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: $462 million

Keep in mind that the bill may go through many changes, but the initial outlook for increased science funding is promising! Also, much of the community is talking about proposals of even stronger funding support in the Senate bill - $10 billion for NIH alone. That kind of funding would simultaneously stimulate the economy and make-up for years of flat funding.

Tell your elected officials how important it is to invest in research today.

For more on the stimulus package, refer to these articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

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