Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Future Science: What the budget squabblers ignore.

An excellent op-ed piece by Craig Barrett (the Chairman of Intel) in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses the shortsightedness of recent Congressional (in)action on science matters, particularly the recent "budget deal" and the immigration brouhaha.

... All parties agreed that our competitiveness in the 21st century was at stake and we needed to act.

So much for political will.

The recent budget deal between Republicans and Democrats effectively flat-funds or cuts funding for key science agencies...

The funding decisions on the America Competes Act took place a few days after Congress passed a $250 billion farm bill. In the eyes of our political leaders, apparently, corn subsidies to Iowa farmers are more important for our competitiveness in the next century than investing a few billion in our major research universities. The president expressed his happiness with the budget and Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, said, "The president didn't get his priorities, we got ours." ...

Hello, politicians, anybody there? Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, where are you when the country needs you?

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