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Can we elect Bush for a third term? February 4, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in politics.

Ok, I’m not really willing to go that far. But as almost everyone has seen, Bush submitted his budget. Since he is lame duck I have no idea what it means, and considering the size of his military request among other things, I don’t know how much will be listened to. But… if one were to cherry pick…

Looking at the Office of Science, DOE section of the budget (see page 9) – btw, Office of Science is the largest single science funding agency in the government — their budget for basic science (all types) is larger than the NSF’s — we see that in 2007 3.844 billion was spent. That increased to 3.973 billion in 2008 (an estimate, of course). The request for 2009? A cool 4.722. Nice. Particle physics and fusion science get some of the largest increases – perhaps to make up for the harsh cuts of this last year.

Now, can we get everyone pointing in the same direction again – and can we prevent it from getting killed at the last minute? Actually, can we even get parts of congress to support it so that it makes it into their bills?

The NSF isn’t doing badly either — a 14-16% increase has been requested. This is nice because the NSF is the agency that directly funds my group at UW. The detailed document has Mathematical and physical sciences going from 1.151 billion to 1.403 billion. Included in the overview: “$148 million for the design or construction of four major new cutting-edge research facilities in astronomy and physics, and $115 million for a diverse portfolio of smaller-sized instruments and other tools.” It is hard to see, in the details, exactly how that money is put in, but that is great news. I can think of several projects that deserve to get a chunk of this!

Now we just have to make it happen.



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