APS News

Nobel Laureates, Industry Leaders Petition President to Boost Science and Technology

Sixteen Nobel Laureates in Physics and sixteen industry leaders have written to President George W. Bush to urge increasing funding for physical sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, computer science and engineering.

The letter, reinforcing a recent Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report, highlights serious funding problems in the physical sciences and related fields that "unless remedied, will affect our scientific and technological leadership, thereby affecting our economy and national security."

The letter, which is dated April 14th, also indicates that "the growth in expert personnel abroad, combined with the diminishing numbers of Americans entering the physical sciences, mathematics and engineering-an unhealthy trend-is leading corporations to locate more of their R&D activities outside the United States."

Noting that NSF funding is only a small fraction of support for these fields, the co-signatories call for "a Presidential initiative for FY 2005, following on from your budget of FY 2004, and focusing on the long- term research portfolios of DOE, NASA, and the Department of Commerce, in addition to NSF and NIH," that, "would turn around a decade-long decline that endangers the future of our nation."

The lead signers of the letter were Burton Richter, director emeritus of SLAC, and Craig Barett, CEO of Intel Corporation.

Co-signatories to the letter coordinated their statement through the APS and the National Association of Manufacturers.