Supplemental US Science Funding

The Senate last night agreed to the House version of a bill that adds some supplemental science funding for FY2008, as part of a large “emergency” bill used to fund the the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The DOE Office of Science and NSF will each get $62.5 million. The bill contains language giving priority to stopping layoffs and furloughs, and to funding neutrino research at Fermilab. It should allow Fermilab to stop planned involuntary layoffs (furloughs had already been ended by an anonymous $5 million donation).

For more, see this from Oddone, as well as more here and here.

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2 Responses to Supplemental US Science Funding

  1. chris says:

    while i of course applaud this additional money to ammeliorate an emergency situation, i find it highly distressing for the future of our field to see how tightly coupled the whole high energy community still is to military expenses and developments. i think that this is an extremely unhealthy development for the long term future of our field. not only will politicians at some point realize that there is no further gain from hep research for the construction of new weapons, but on a more general level, hep will – at the level of the society – not be seen as a cultural endeavor to understand the fundamental workings of nature, but rather as groundworks for the war industry.

    extrapolating maybe 30 years into the future (i know how ludicrious that might be), i am afraid of the scenario where hep research is still in need of large money for large machines and will therefore be all but assimilated by the military complex and distested by public opinion.

  2. Peter Orland says:

    People in the highest places of government have long aware that high-energy physics has no military applications, except through spin-offs. I don’t think it has been true since the 1970’s that we were viewed as an extension of national defense. R. Wilson gave his famous testimony advocating constructing Fermilab (“It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to make it worth defending.”) in 1969. See

    The attachment of funding to the military is probably a coincidence and should not be taken too seriously.

    Some politicians value our field and others do not, and my impression is that there is little connection with ideology, party affiliation or closeness to the Military-Industrial Complex. We just need to do a better job of promoting ourselves.

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