Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Newt Gingrich on investing in research

Noted in a Computing Research Policy Blog post.

"The research budget of the United States should be considered part of the national security budget. Investing in science (including math and science education) is the most important strategic investment we make in continued American leadership economically and militarily. Investing in science has also been the most consistent, powerful, single mechanism for extending life and for improving the quality of life. When developing the federal budget, the investment in science should be considered immediately after operational military requirements and before any of the traditional domestic spending programs."

"Congress should consider establishing a separate budget line item for federal research and protecting it from encroachment by all the interest groups who want immediate gratification for their projects. Special interests can find funding for highways, subsidies to farmers, and public housing. For a variety of reasons scientists and those who believe in science have a harder time making a 'pork barrel' or special interest appeal for more money."

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Comment by Blogger Jim Horning:

See also Newt's comments on why scientists must speak out about research and research funding.

2:47 PM  
Comment by Blogger Jim Horning:

Peter Harsha also pointed me to Newt's Testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee, May 22,2002. The following are excerpts:

We Must Expand Our Investment in Science1. The Hart-Rudman Commission on National Security to 2025 warned that our failure to invest in science and to reform math and science education was the second biggest threat to our national security. It warned that only the threat of a weapon of mass destruction in an American city was a greater danger. In fact, the Commission unanimously concluded that the danger from under investing in math and science and failing to reform math and science education was greater than the danger from any conceivable conventional war...
4. The knowledge breakthroughs of the next 20 years will equal the entire 20th century. In other words the rate of change is accelerating and in the next two decades will be about 5 times as fast as the 20th century. The rate will continue to accelerate and we will match the 20th century again between 2020 and 2035.
5. Countries which fail to invest in basic science and math and which fail to insist on adequate math and science education will fall behind economically and in national security capabilities.
6. The United States lead today is a function of past investments. Our ability to lead in 2020 is a function of current decisions. There is no reason today to believe we will automatically maintain that lead...
8. If the present trends continue we will be surpassed by China and India in the next generation and we might be passed by Japan and Europe.
9. To meet this challenge the National Science Foundation should be increased to a $15 billion a year budget. It is clear that the National Science Foundation could invest $11 billion a year within current constraints (see prior testimony by the Director, Dr. Colwell). It is clear that instrumentation, education, and research projects could absorb a $15 billion level productively...

5:37 PM  

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