ISSUE: RESEARCH FUNDING
Research funding is down by 2% at the Office of Science, up by 2% at NSF in President Bush's proposed budget. Released February 2, the budget for fiscal year 2005 includes a $521 billion deficit and increases for national defense and homeland security spending. As a result, science programs across the federal government are feeling the squeeze. The DOE Office of Science receives a 2% cut, physical science research at the National Science Foundation goes up by roughly 2%, and basic research at the Department of Defense falls 5%. Over the next few months, Congress will begin crafting appropriations bills using the President's budget as a starting point.
Log on to the APS Web site (http://www.aps.org/policy) and write to Congress stating there needs to be a strong investment in science.
Congress is considering whether to construct a Modern Pit Facility capable of manufacturing plutonium pits for nuclear weapons at an estimated cost of $2 to $4 billion. An APS panel assessed the need for a MPF. They concluded that there is insufficient technical reason for the Federal Government to select a site or commit to a Modern Pit Facility design at this time. Please check the POPA web page for postings at http://www.aps.org/policy .
ISSUE: ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
President Bush has proposed a $1.2 billion Hydrogen Initiative that has a goal of developing a hydrogen-fueled car and supporting infrastructure by the year 2020. An APS panel assessed the initiative and concluded that there needs to be more emphasis on solving fundamental science problems. Would you like to read more? The full report is on our web site at http://www.aps.org/policy.
ISSUE: EDUCATION FUNDING
On the issue of creationism, Georgia has reversed the recommendation to omit the word evolution from school science classes. The word is back in the science curriculum.
If this is an issue in your state, alert our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 662-8700.
The President's budget would move the peer reviewed Math and Science Partnerships program at the National Science Foundation to the Department of Education, which currently funds another partnerships program that distributes funds to each state. APS has joined a group of societies to oppose this change. Our letter to Congress is available on the APS Web site (http://www.aps.org/policy).
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Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette