APS News

Washington Dispatch

ISSUE: Science Research Budgets

The Obama Administration released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Budget in early May. The numbers for the key physical science research accounts are consistent with the President’s pledge to double research funding over a ten-year period beginning with FY 2006. The Administration’s plans for the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE Sci), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Standards & Technology (NIST) dovetail with the America COMPETES Act, which authorizes these agencies’ budgets to be doubled in that timeframe. The President’s budget request for FY 2010 contains the following:

• NSF: Up 8.5%, or $555M, from $6.50B in FY09 to $7.05B in FY10.

• DOE Sci: Up 3.9%, or $184.1M, from $4.76B in FY09 to $4.94B in FY10. The budget includes $100M for the Energy Frontier Research Centers that would support a projected 1,800 researchers and students, primarily at universities, but also at national labs, industry, and non-profits at 46 centers. The focus of the centers would be fundamental, basic science, emphasizing transformational energy research. In addition, the request includes $10 million to “stand up” ARPA-E (which received $400M in the Stimulus Package earlier in the year).

• NIST Core: Up 1.2%, or 7.5M, from $644M in FY09 to $651.5M in the FY10 request. The Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) would rise from $472M in FY09 to $535M in FY10, an increase of 13%, while the Construction of Research Facilities (CRF) would decline from $172M in FY09 to $117M in FY10, a decrease of 32%. In fact, excluding congressionally directed projects and a construction grant during FY09, NIST Core would receive a 15% increase in FY10.

• NASA Science: Down 0.6% from $4.5B in FY09 to $4.48B in FY10. The devil is in the details: Earth Science would rise 1.6% to $1.35B; Planetary Science would rise 1.6% to $1.35B; Astrophysics would decline 7.1% to $1.12B; and Heliophysics would rise 2.3% to $0.61B. The Administration’s out year budget plans will likely change following the review of the human spaceflight program under the chairmanship of Norman Augustine.

Both chambers of Congress are expected to consider the budget request in their respective Appropriation Committees sometime in June or early July. Barring unforeseen developments, Congress should complete the budget process on time this year, with final passage of agreed-upon bills sometime in September.

Be sure to check the APS Washington Office’s web page for the latest news on the FY10 Budget.

ISSUE: POPA Activities

The National Security Subcommittee has been working on their Nuclear Verification Study, which will examine verification technology for the reduction of nuclear arsenals. The Study Committee convened for their first workshop on April 21-22 in Washington, DC. A second workshop is being planned for June 30–July 1.
The Energy & Environment Subcommittee has been working on their Carbon Capture Study, which will examine non-biological CO2 capture. The Study Committee held their first workshop on March 23-24 in Princeton, NJ and work has begun on producing a final report.
If you have suggestions for a POPA study, please visit Suggestions for APS Policy Studies and send in your ideas.

ISSUE: Washington Office Media Update

Science magazine published a story on April 3 about a meeting sponsored by the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation that involved a discussion with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, university presidents and association leaders. The meeting addressed the importance of science in developing solutions to US challenges, such as energy security. APS is a founding member of the Innovation Task Force.
Log on to the APS Public Affairs website for more information.

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Editor: Alan Chodos