Friday, February 5, 2010

The Breakdown Of Obama's Budget For Science.

I got an email today from the AAS that said this.  Thought some people would be interested:

SUMMARY: The President's budget request for FY 2011 has been released.
Overall, science funding will rise despite the proposed spending
freeze with most big investments in climate change research, renewable
energy, and STEM education. The doubling path for the three key
science agencies included in the American Competitiveness Initiative
(NSF, DOE, and NIST) is maintained by providing them a combined
$13.3B, an increase of $824M (6.6%) over the FY 2010 enacted total.


The President has released his Administration's budget request for FY
2011. Science has fared well despite the spending freeze proposed by
the President on all non-discretionary spending. This budget request
asks for a 5.9% increase in non-defense R&D spending (an increase of
$3.7B for a total of $66B). The country's total R&D budget request for
FY 2011 is $147.7B once the defense R&D funding is included. This is
an increase of $343M or 0.2% over the enacted FY 2010 level. There is
also significant investment in programs to foster the next generation
of S&T workers, both at the NSF, DOE and the Department of Education.

The breakdown for the agencies relevant to our community is as follows:

NSF: The NSF request is for $7.4B, an increase of 8% over 2010 levels.
The Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS), which houses
the Astronomical Sciences (AST) within NSF, receives a 4.3% increase
and AST receives a 2.5% increase to $251.77M.

Of the facilities supported by MPS, the AST facilities have done very
well getting a majority of the funding increases. The requests and the
percent increase over FY2010 estimates are: ATST - $2M, ALMA - $23.5M
(33.8%), Gemini - 1$19.58M (2.5%), IceCube - $2.5M (16.3%) and LIGO -
$30.30 (6.3%).

The Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program sees a 16.4% increase
to $158.24M while the Faculty Early Career Development Program
(CAREER) sees a 6.5% increase to $209.16M. There is also an additional
investment of $103M to realign and consolidate existing programs to
broaden participation by under-represented groups in the S&T

NASA: The biggest change at NASA is of course a new vision for the
manned space flight program. NASA's total budget request is for $19B
with $5B for the Science Mission Directorate. The biggest increase
within SMD goes to Earth Science in line with the Administration's
focus on renewed investment in global climate change research.

Planetary Science sees a small increase, targeted to identify and
catalog Near Earth Objects. Some really good news for planetary
science is that the Plutonium-238 production restart is called out
prominently. Members might recall that the Administration had
requested $30M in funds in the last budget for the Pu-238 production
restart required to power missions to explore other planets in the
solar system. Congress had zeroed out the request citing inadequate
detail. This request reopens the dialogue. Heliophysics sees a small
increase as well of roughly $13M. Astrophysics funding declines over
2010 levels by 2.5% (~$27M). The good news for the astronomy community
is that new money has been requested to fund the increased investment
in earth science and space science was not cut to fund that increase.

DOE: The Office of Science at DOE receives a 4.4% ($217.7M) increase
for a total of $5.1B. The High Energy Physics program, which supports
astronomical programs such as Fermi, receives a 2.3% increase for a
total of $829M. Fusion energy sciences are down 10.8% to $380M. Of
some interest to our community might be that the U.S. ITER project
sees a decrease of $55M compared to FY 2010 levels. This is a
reflection of the pace of construction and W.F. Brinkman, the Office
of Science Director, is quoted as saying that the DOE was not willing
to provide money for ITER until it had solved some underlying problems
and the funding reduction was intended to "send a message."

The President's budget request reflects the priorities of the
Administration. It is very supportive of science, including
curiosity-based science, but has focused its big investments in
climate change research, renewable energy sources, and STEM education.
There is also a substantial investment in technology development at
NASA. We must now engage Congress about the role astronomy plays in
the national agenda and what our community can contribute to the
nation. Everyone is awaiting the report from the Decadal Survey to set
funding priorities for astrophysics. But we need to start talking to
lawmakers now about the role of astronomy in the innovation agenda.

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