Funding for science from congress seems to be cut again.  PLEASE ask your legislative representatives to reconsider.  Funding from the America COMPETES acts is important in funding fundamental science particularly physical science.   I understand that there is a deficient but funding for basic science research is such a small small part of the national budget.

Im surprised to the total cutting for ARPA-E.  This program is very new and there seems to be no really justification other than its an easy item to scratch off the budget.  

COMPETES funds research through the NSF and DOE.  These are some of the only large sources of funding for physical science and math.


Coming as no surprise, a report came out on the sad state of science research facilities of NASA.  NASA’s budget had been on a steady decline for decades; what do you expect?  You could argue that NASA doesn’t really need to maintain top-notch science facilities as other government and academic institutions are doing the bulk of science work anyways.  I would argue the other way since most of NASA’s success in the past decade are missions developed around strong, robust scientific goals.  Without good facilites, continuing development of NASA missions might be hampered.  NASA needs to continue its strong ties to Academia while maintaining a staff/facilities of its own. 

In terms of NASA, I strongly support the Obama Administration’s plan.
Here’s the budget.

Contrary to political opponents, there is a healthy increase to the NASA budget.  More importantly there are now realistic goals.  The constellation
project was a poorly funded project with no significant goals if accomplished.  Unfortunately the money we’ve wasted on it we can not get back and will elongate the time a new replacement shuttle will be done.  However, I think the long term vision is much better and it doesn’t sacrifice the success and momentum of the past 2 decades.  Continuing the Constellation project fully would require not only large increase in budget but large cuts, particularly to unmanned missions and science.  These 2 areas have been some of the landmark sucesses for NASA.  I’m also very happy to hear that AMS-II experiment will be launched and installed on the International Space Station.



The Kerry-Lieberman climate bill

Wow! ALOT OF CONCESSIONS!!!  I’m not saying its bad.  Its certainly better than nothing which is what we have.  This bill is a catch-all trying to address every area they could think of.   Seems like they want to break foreign oil depedence by increase efficiency of freight transportation and increase domestic production (off-shore platform).  somehow I doubt that will contribute significantly.  Increasing nuclear energy i guess would be the response.  We’ll last time i checked we still haven’t figured out what to do with the nuclear waste even though the Bush Administration gave the go ahead to nuclear plants saying they would deal with it.  Now its just piling it up.  i don’t see anything in the bill to address this.  Of course that’s really not their jurisdiction.  There are other provisions but thats for another time.

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