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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Double Science Spending Fast, Says Gingrich
18 October 1999 6:00 pm
He may be out of office, but former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) hasn't lost his zeal for talking about the need for more research dollars. In an op-ed piece in today's Washington Post, Gingrich says science spending should be the nation's top investment priority. During this fall's budget negotiations, he says, Congress and President Clinton should make a 20% down payment on a plan to double federal R&D spending within 5 years.
Gingrich, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., wants to increase science funding even faster than the Senate, which adopted a resolution urging a doubling by 2010 (Science, May 28, p. 1452). The money, he says, should go to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE)'s research budget, and the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
No longer a power broker, Gingrich is unlikely to see much come from his proposal in this Congress. House Science Committee Chair James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), a fiscal conservative, has already promised to fight any resolution to double science spending. And the 2000 budget for science agencies is just about set with no huge "down payment" in sight. NIH is certain to get a hefty increase--perhaps more than $2 billion--while the NSF, NASA, DOE, and DARPA budgets are locked in for flat funding or more modest budget boosts, Administration officials note.
In the meantime, researchers may want to work on their powers of persuasion in Washington. The primary stumbling block to substantial increases in science spending, says Gingrich, is politics, not logic. "I have found scientists and investors to be among the least effective lobbyists," he says.