February 8, 2008

President Bush’s FY ’09 Budget Gives Big Boost to Basic Research

APS Lauds Funding increases for DOE-Science, NSF, NIST and DoD

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Physical Society (APS) is elated that President Bush’s fiscal year 2009 budget includes a 19 percent increase in basic research funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which supports programs that are critical to our nation’s economic competitiveness and energy security.

The APS also applauds the recommended 13 percent increase for the National Science Foundation and the 6 percent increase for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The society also notes, with satisfaction, the presidential request for the Department of Defense basic research account, which represents a 4 percent increase over the fiscal year 2008 budget and a 16 percent increase from last year’s spending plan excluding earmarks.

From medicine to entertainment, from energy to defense, investments in physical science research have spawned remarkable technologies that have improved our quality of life, safeguarded our nation and increased our prosperity. The MRI, iPod and World Wide Web are just a few of the technologies that began with basic research in the physical sciences.

Despite the jubilation surrounding the budget, Michael Lubell, APS director of public affairs, offered a cautionary note. “Although President Bush’s fiscal year 2009 proposed spending plan will help the nation regain its global economic footing, it is up to Congress to pass the necessary appropriations bills to turn the plan into a reality. Last year, the dispute between Congress and the president produced a budget that caused irreparable harm to key scientific programs and led to the layoffs of hundreds of scientists around the nation. We can ill afford a replay,” he said.

US Capitol viewed through trees

About APS

The American Physical Society is a nonprofit 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 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, D.C.