APS Expresses Concern for High Energy Physics and Fusion Energy Science Programs in President’s FY15 Budget Request

By Tawanda W. Johnson

Border Nuclear Detection Tools
Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy

Federally funded high energy research has led to applications such as border nuclear detection tools.

President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request continues the slow erosion of the nation’s research capacity at a time when the rest of the world is becoming increasingly competitive. Operating under the budget constraints of last year’s Ryan-Murray agreement, however, American Physical Society (APS) recognizes that the White House had little room to make significant increases to science programs the president has consistently touted.

Nonetheless, APS strongly urges Congress, in a bipartisan fashion, to add funding to science accounts that suffered significant reductions in the president’s requests. Those accounts include high energy physics and fusion energy sciences in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. From MRIs to new cancer and heart valve treatments to X-rays to detect contraband in cargo ports, tools of high energy physics play important roles in the lives of Americans. Moreover, fusion energy research, underpinned by plasma science, has greatly improved semiconductor manufacturing and the development of computer chips, among other technologies.

Michael Lubell, APS director of public affairs, notes that young scientists are increasingly looking for opportunities abroad to pursue their careers because they see Europe and Asia making large investments in research at a time when the United States is scaling back. “The rest of the world has caught up with us,” he said, “and many U.S. policymakers have been slow to recognize the existential threat that competition poses to the future American economy.”

Following the 2014 elections, APS calls on Congress and the White House to strike a bipartisan agreement that will allow the U.S. to reassert its traditional role as the world’s leader in discovery and innovation and by so doing secure the nation’s future economy.

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

APS Headquarters, College Park, MD
One Physics Ellipse,
College Park, MD 20740

Staff Writer: Michael Lucibella
Art Director / Special Publications Manager: Kerry G. Johnson
Design and Production:
Nancy Bennett-Karasik

APS Washington, D.C. Office
529 14th St. NW,
Washington, DC 20045
Email: opa@aps.org
Phone: 202-662-8700
Fax: 202-662-8711

Director of Public Affairs: Michael Lubell
Associate Director of Public Affairs:
Francis Slakey
Senior Government Relations Specialist: Jodi Lieberman
Government Relations Specialist: Tyler Glembo
Press Secretary: Tawanda W. Johnson
Office Manager & POPA Studies Administration Specialist: Jeanette Russo
Policy Analyst: Mark Elsesser