America’s Science Budget Prioritizes America’s Challenges

As in Mexico, the budget of the government of the United States is approved or modified by its legislators. The Democratic majority is putting a $ 45 billion plan for scientific research up for debate in the legislature, out of a total budget of $ 3.5 billion, according to a report by Jeffrey Mervins, of the scientific journal Science. They do not expect any vote from the Republican opposition.

The budget plans are designed for 5 and 10 years in the future, and are for institutions that are under the jurisdiction of a Scientific Committee, which include the Department of Energy (the one that will take the largest share), the National Science Foundation (NSF ), the United States Aerospace Agency (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

They are not the only government resources that public scientific research institutions receive. Previously, the Senate approved a package of one billion in infrastructure for research, in addition to independent projects that were already approved in June by legislators for specific programs of the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

The public laboratories related to the Department of Energy will be the ones with the biggest cut. There are 10 national laboratories related to Energy that will receive resources to build and update research facilities and infrastructure, and to investigate nuclear fusion (different from the fission that is used today), in addition to the promotion of alternative energies such as wind, solar, geothermal, etc.

The resources for the National Science Foundation will go to its eight research and education divisions to build new facilities, in addition to substantial resources for colleges and universities with strong black populations and other institutions that serve large numbers of minority students.

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For the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Administration of Oceanography and Atmosphere and the Department of Commerce will have a budget to promote regional innovation, applied research and new technologies that promote economic development. NOAA in particular will have funding for a look at projects to better understand and adapt to climate change, to perform simulated and forecast models of weather, oceans, climate and aircraft to track hurricanes.

The US Space Agency will obtain budget resources until 2026 to repair and modernize its network of research facilities and strengthen research programs for climate change.

As can be seen, US congressmen have no qualms between basic and applied science. What is to be highlighted and perhaps helps to understand that the leading country and main promoter of neoliberalism is prioritizing federal programs for social welfare and focusing the items for the investigation of what is substantive for the challenges that that nation sees.

The ideal without a doubt for any society is to finance all research, basic or applied, but it is not the only thing that needs to be financed, the most pressing needs are prioritized for a developed nation or not (source: Science, 09-07-21).

* Communication of Science DGDC UNAM

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Myrtle Frost

"Reader. Evil problem solver. Typical analyst. Unapologetic internet ninja."

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