Small raise for NIH, CDC budgets
The latest proposal for the 2008 budget for the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives the agencies a slight bump over last year's levels. Over the weekend, Congress prepared a new version of appropriations following President George Bush's linkurl:veto;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53858 of previous bill in November.
The latest proposal for the 2008 budget for the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives the agencies a slight bump over last year's levels. Over the weekend, Congress prepared a new version of appropriations following President George Bush's linkurl:veto;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53858 of previous bill in November. This new bill includes $760 million less for NIH and $240 million less for CDC than the vetoed bill, according to linkurl:news reports;http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/16/AR2007121602016.html today.
The result is an increase of less than 1% ($130 million) for the NIH from an FY07 budget of roughly $29 billion, says Nancy Granese, the executive director of the Campaign for Medical Research. (CMR is a lobbying group that represents Research!America. __The Scientist's__ founder Eugene Garfield sits on Research!America's board.). "We're not going to be getting the 6.7% increase the linkurl:research community had hoped for,";http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53973 Granese told __The Scientist__. "We're extremely disappointed."
Karl Moeller, the executive director of the Campaign for Public Health, another lobbying group for Research!America, is not as disappointed in the bill, at least as far as CDC funding goes. The bill gives the agency a 2.8% boost from FY07 levels. And while that's not the 6.6% increase that was in the bill Congress passed originally, it's a "huge increase over the president's budget request from February of this year," Moeller told __The Scientist__.
Congress will take a few more steps before the bill is sent for the president's approval, and Granese said she expects a final version later this week. She said she expects that the bill will pass Congress, although anti-war Democrats and Republicans opposed to earmarks in the bill could vote against it.
December 19, 2007
As a concerned American citizen, who also happens to be a scientist, biomedical innovator and medical sciences educator (host of a peer-to-peer biomedical sciences television series), I am appalled at our Government's lack of investment in Life Sciences and Medical Sciences research. As a nation, we already lag behind many other countries in Science education and math/sciences/engineering disciplines mastery.\n\nNow, and for the seventh year since this president took office, many of our most important, government-funded/sponsored agencies and research institutions are taking a back-seat to our international war machine. The very same elected leaders who just passed another 70+ billion dollar budget for murdering innocents in Afghanistan and Iraq, have now graciously assented to add a few hundred millions of dollar to the coffers of such agencies as the NIH and CDC. \n\nPathetically, our government insists that its policies regarding the pursuit of war across the globe (the so-called "War on Terror") is all done in the interest of "homeland security." I propose that the same funds we are currently expending in waging these wars - were they applied to our own infrastructure, including substantial increases to the funding of Education, scientific and medical research, guaranteed healthcare for all US citizens, disaster relief and internal economic stability - would do exponentially more to bolster "homeland security" than any amount of money we might expend to wage wars. \n\nHello,...Washington? Is anyone up there listenting?\n\nRespectfully submitted, \n\nDr. Jonas Moses
December 20, 2007
I agree 100% with Dr. Moses' opinions regarding the misuse of taxpayer dollars on empire building and protecting oil in Iraq and other nations. But I don't believe the Bush White House alone is at fault for this travesty. The US Congress shares in the blame for not bringing these policies and spending under control in a Congress that has a Democratic majority. They can override a veto rather than giving in to the "bully (or should I say bullsh**) pulpit" and his cronies - all of whom are doing exceeding well at expense of our young men and women who are dying for their profits.\n\nThe US is so appalling behind in science and mathematics that temporarily transplanted families from countries like Japan have to send their children to special Saturday classes that are subsidized by the Japanese government so that these students will be able to compete for University admissions when they return to Japan. I have seen more well eductaed scientists coming from China, India and South American countries than what we are able to produce in the US.\n\nAnd it's the attitude of these many small minds and those that support these pitiful increases that continue to hamstring this country from maintaining its dominance in science, math and engineering disciplines. Taken together with the anti-science and technology rhetoric of many groups that want to stop research and return to their caveman roots, it's no wonder that many young people don't experience the fascination and awe that these powerful tools can bring to their lives.\n\nIn the next several elections, I will vote for candidates that have shown their support for science and math education and research and our health and well-being as a nation - not some idiots who think the only way to peace and prosperity for all is war.\n\nKudos to you Dr. Moses!\n\n