UPDATED AGAIN: Science Triumphs in Obama's 2011 Budget Request

Jeff tries to explain how government works to readers of Science.

Wow. A first, quick look at what President Barack Obama wants to spend next year on science shows across-the-board increases for research and training. Those gains come despite the president's plan to freeze domestic discretionary programs in hopes of reducing a $1.4 trillion deficit.

Here's some of what the president's $3.8 trillion 2011 budget request, submitted this morning, could mean for science, if Congress were to go along:

  • A $1 billion increase, to $32.1 billion, for the National Institutes of Health. That 3%-plus boost is aimed at keeping NIH on pace with inflationary costs for doing biomedical research.
  • A $550 million boost, to $7.4 billion, for the National Science Foundation. Almost all of that 8% increase would go to NSF's six research directorates, with a special emphasis on clean energy and sustainability. Its education and training programs would rise by 2%.
  • A $226 million hike, to $5.1 billion, for the Office of Science within the Department of Energy (DOE). The department's 3-year-old effort to jump-start a low-carbon economy, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, would get $300 million as its first annual budget. A scaled-down education and training initiative, RE-ENERGYSE, would get $74 million, after Congress rejected a much larger program proposed last year.
  • A $540 million boost, to $5 billion, for science programs within NASA. The increase comes as part of the Administration's proposed reshuffling of priorities on human space exploration. That plan includes a heavy-lift rocket for exploration beyond the moon and the commercial sector taking on responsibility for getting astronauts to the low-Earth-orbit international space station.
  • A $164 million jump, to $429 million, in the competitively awarded research programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • A $67 million increase, to $587 million, for the basic science programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NIST is one of three agencies—NSF and DOE's Office of Science round out the trio—that have been promised a doubled research budget over 10 years. The Administration's 2011 budget for all three is in line with that pledge.

[Jennifer Couzin-Frankel adds this about CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suffered a slight drop; in its 2009 budget CDC received $6.36 billion, and Obama is now requesting $6.34 billion. That’s also $125 million less the current estimated budget for 2010 than he requested last year. CDC's flat budget is due to unspent flu money.

The Administration proposes eliminating CDC's anthrax vaccine activities, which began in 1999.  According to the budget, "The program has achieved its goals of reducing the number of vaccine doses, simplifying the administration route, and conducting long-term safety surveillance."  Cutting the program would trim $3 million from CDC's 2011 budget. ]

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