October 24, 2007

U.S. Senate Gives Science Education and Research Programs Big Boost With Approval of $55 Billion Spending Bill for Fiscal Year 2008

University of Maryland among many universities to receive funds to help U.S. Remain Globally Competitive

WASHINGTON, DC — Thanks to a $55 billion spending bill recently approved by the U.S. Senate, the University of Maryland and other universities will be in a better position to train the next generation of scientists and engineers who are needed to ensure our nation’s position as a global economic leader.

“In order to educate the next generation of scientists, it’s critical to give them experience with doing science at a high level, to challenge them to have high standards, and to let them experience first-hand the rewards of discovery,” said Drew Baden, chairman of the Physics Department at the University of Maryland.

“This bill will also help those of us at the universities to maintain world-class research programs and exploit all of the tremendous research opportunities that currently exist and will exist in the future.”

The spending measure was approved Oct. 16 by the veto-proof 75-19 margin and includes about $7 billion of funding for the National Science Foundation, a 10.6 percent increase above President Bush’s request. Senate and House appropriators will now meet and write a final version of the bill that requires Bush’s signature before it becomes law.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee that wrote the bill, said, “We added $1 billion above the president’s request for science, education and economic development to foster job creation — for jobs that will stay in this country and to inspire and train our future scientists and engineers.”

Michael Lubell, director of public affairs for APS added, “As Harvard economist Richard Freeman notes in his recent book, America Works, investments in science research and education should be our No. 1 priority if we want to compete in the global economy. Congress clearly concurs. The president should as well.”

US Capitol viewed through trees

About APS

The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 53,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.