Senate plan: less stimulus for NSF, NIST, other science agencies

February 9th, 2009

The US Senate’s stimulus plan released at the end of last week has less money for US science agencies than the House plan from January, but the cuts were not as drastic as were feared. CRA reports in a post Senate Deal Protects Much of NSF Increase in Stimulus that

“The agreement does reduce the increase in the Department of Energy’s Office of Science by $100 million (so, +$330 million instead of +$430 million), and NIST’s increase would be reduced by $100 million (so +$495 million instead of +$595 million). But given the reports we were receiving as recently as yesterday evening about the possibility of no increase for the science agencies in the bill, this is a remarkable turn of events. The increase for NSF in the Senate bill will still be far less than the $3 billion called for in the House version of the bill, but NSF will be in far better shape in the conference between the two chambers coming in with $1.2 billion from the Senate instead of zero.”

Scientists and Engineers for America (a 501(c)(3) organization) has a detailed breakdown of the the stimulus package that passed the Senate Friday in Senate-passed stimulus package by the numbers. They also have a downloadable excel spreadsheet in case you want to crunch the data yourself. Here are some science highlights from their post:

NSF Research: $1.2 billion total for NSF including: $1 billion to help America compete globally; $150 million for scientific infrastructure; and $50 million for competitive grants to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

NASA: $1.3 billion total for NASA including: $450 million for Earth science missions to provide critical data about the Earth’s resources and climate; $200 million to enable research and testing of environmentally responsible aircraft and for verification and validation methods for complex aerospace systems and software; $450 million to reduce the gap in time that the U.S. does not have a vehicle to access the International Space Station; and $200 million for repair, upgrade and construction at NASA facilities.

NOAA: $1 billion total for NOAA, including $645 million to construct and repair NOAA facilities, equipment and vessels to reduce the Nation’s coastal charting backlog, upgrade supercomputer infrastructure for climate research, and restore critical habitat around the Nation.

NIST: $475 million total for NIST including: $307 million for renovation of NIST facilities and new laboratories using green technologies; $168 million for scientific and technical research at NIST to strengthen the agency’s IT infrastructure; provide additional NIST research fellowships; provide substantial funding for advanced research and measurement equipment and supplies; increase external grants for NIST-related research.

DOE: The Department of Energy’s Science program sees $330 million for laboratory infrastructure and construction.