President Bill Clinton's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) emphasized technology over science during the unveiling of the president's fiscal year (FY) 2000 budget request Feb. 1. The administration requested $78.42 billion for total civilian and military R&D--over $1 billion less than for FY1999. If Congress strictly adheres to that request next fall, most agencies that fund science would see their budgets at or below this year's level, after accounting for inflation. The two largest R&D fund providers--the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DOD)--would get hit hardest in real-dollar terms.

Meanwhile, a heavily promoted administration initiative aims to take $366 million from six agencies and apply it toward developing faster computers, wireless networks, and new computer languages that would help scientists of all disciplines crunch data quicker, perhaps allowing for better modeling and simulation software. Vice President Al Gore first announced the program, named...

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