Mudcat Café message #1591966 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1591966
Posted By: Amos
27-Oct-05 - 05:26 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From a discussion group:


The governors of 27 states have sent a letter to President Bush
urging him to "ensure that federal funding for university-based
research remains a top national priority" in FY 2006 and beyond. In
their letter, the 16 Democratic and 11 Republican governors make the
case that basic research has been the fuel for innovation in their
states -- as well as a creator of high-wage jobs and an enabler of
workforce productivity -- and they credit the universities and labs
performing the research with being "the training ground for our
country's next generation of highly-skilled workers." They also cite
the changing competitive environment that challenges current U.S.
dominance in technology innovation:

    "Through economic globalization, competition in research and
development has risen dramatically in the last few years. Asian and
European countries have committed new resources to scientific and
engineering research programs at nearly unprecedented rates. While
the U.S. currently remains a global leader in science and technology,
we must continue to be at the forefront of discovery and development.
Only by investing in the research of today can we take full advantage
of the innovations of tomorrow. Despite a period of scarce resources,
basic science and engineering research is a vital national investment."

This is an important message for the President to hear, especially as
the Administration is working now to put together his FY 2007 budget
in time for its February release.

Unfortunately, the U.S. basic research enterprise is going to need
all the help it can get. As we've noted before, it appears that
pressures will be high on Congress to cut mandatory and discretionary
spending (including federal science agencies) to offset the spiraling
costs for hurricane relief and a possible tax cut. Yesterday, House
Majority Leader Roy Blunt noted that Congress will be focusing on
three pieces of budget legislation before they wrap up the current
session this fall: a package carving savings from mandatory programs,
an across-the-board cut in discretionary spending and a new hurricane
relief package. Any across-the-board cut is likely to once again fall
on agencies like the National Science Foundation, which suffered a
similar 2 percent cut last year.

So any effort by an influential group like the 27 governors who
signed this letter (and thanks to the Science Coalition for "working"
this letter), is useful in the attempt to reverse what is becoming a
very damaging trend of cutbacks in federal support for fundamental

Here's the full letter:
Governors_Letter_BasicResearch.pdf (pdf, 1 mb).