Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 Budget Cuts Hit Hard

Most of you are probably aware of the fact that the FY 2008 budget is a bad one for science. Only NASA got the budget increase that both Congress and the President agreed upon, and that was only a 3% increase, which is insufficient for even the already scheduled projects on NASA's plate. One of the hardest hit agencies is the DoE office of science, which received a 5% increase, but also saw more than 5% of it's science budget get earmarked to specific projects, leaving very little funding for some important projects. You can get more details here at ScienceNOW.

I knew it was bad, but it looks like it might be even worse. Fermilab has announced that it's budget has been cut by about 15%, completely scrapping the NOVA neutrino experiment and the fusion project ITER and forcing Fermilab to lay-off over 10% of it's workforce (for more, go here to the Physics Today story).

Things may be even worse for the Flash Center at the University of Chicago. Rumor has it that the DoE will be forced to end all funding, effectively closing the Flash Center down in the next year or so. This is only a rumor, but if it's true, that would eliminate one of the pioneering research centers in computational physics.

All in all, it's a bad time for science funding in the US.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this is not a good budget, especially for high-energy physics. Theory did not get that bad however, mostly experiment and specific projects like Nick mentioned.

    I just hope the next budget will put funding back at requested levels.

    In addition, Britain cut their funding for the ILC particle accelerator. This really hurts the particle community for that means the project my have to be canceled all together.


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