DOE science funding at risk

The US government's energy research efforts may be hobbled by budget cuts.

By | June 20, 2011


With the US Congress in a budget cutting mood, robust funding for scientific research—and especially basic research—is not a foregone conclusion. So it was something of a bright spot when last week the House Appropriations Committee approved a 2012 spending bill that despite cutting the overall Department of Energy budget by $6 billion, would trim only $42 million from its Office of Science, leaving $4.8 billion for research on clean energy, nuclear physics, fusion and other topics.

But the committee did target the Office of Science's largest research program, Basic Energy Science (BES), for potential future budget cuts. Legislators asked that DOE officials in the BES program to trim an additional $25 million from their balance sheets by cutting research projects that aren't delivering on their goals. Critics are decrying the move as stifling to the kind of innovative and risky basic research that energy science needs. "If you don't take risks, you don't make progress," Geraldine Richmond, a physical chemist at the University of Oregon in Eugene, told ScienceInsider. "BES does an incredible job already of cutting its lowest performers."

The bill now moves on to the full House and then the Senate.


Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Inside a Lab Mouse’s High-Fat Diet
  2. Antidepressant Exerts Epigenetic Changes
  3. How Gastric Bypass Can Kill Sugar Cravings
  4. Birth of the Skin Microbiome
    Daily News Birth of the Skin Microbiome

    The immune system tolerates the colonization of commensal bacteria on the skin with the aid of regulatory T cells during the first few weeks of life, a mouse study shows.

Life Technologies