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The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
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Basic Research Gets A Pass at Pentagon
13 February 2012 4:57 pm
Science appears to be on offense at the Department of Defense (DOD). As the Pentagon prepares to downsize by about $5 billion, it's making an exception in its budget for key research programs. Basic science in line 6.1—a category that supports work at universities—would rise slightly from $2.112 billion in 2012 to a target of $2.117 billion in the proposed 2013 budget. And the Pentagon's champion of risk-taking R&D, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is slated for a small increase, from $2.816 billion to $2.817 billion. Basic science within DARPA would grow from $329 million to $349 million. Also bucking the trend is an Administration request to double the size of an innovative social science program on conflict, known as Minerva, from $7.5 million in 2012 to more than $16 million next year.
The DOD request impressed the Association of American Universities (AAU) in Washington, D.C., which lobbies for research funding. It is clear that the Administration is giving priority to research even "at a time when the Pentagon is making substantial spending cuts," AAU federal relations vice president Matt Owens wrote in an e-mail. "We hope Congress will consider ways to continue the growth that basic research has seen."