DOE science funding at risk

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

By | June 20, 2011

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, LEAFLET

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

You

Processing...
Processing...

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. 2017 Top 10 Innovations
    Features 2017 Top 10 Innovations

    From single-cell analysis to whole-genome sequencing, this year’s best new products shine on many levels.

  2. Thousands of Mutations Accumulate in the Human Brain Over a Lifetime
  3. Antiviral Immunotherapy Comes of Age
    News Analysis Antiviral Immunotherapy Comes of Age

    T-cell therapies are not just for cancer. Researchers are also advancing immunotherapy methods to protect bone marrow transplant patients from viral infections. 

  4. Search for Life on the Red Planet
FreeShip