It is encouraging that a bipartisan congressional leadership has called for a doubling of the current level of federal investment in research within the next 10 years. And the Clinton administration's budget submission is a clear indication that the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue heard the call. But with this call and reponse comes a major responsibility to make a credible argument for such enhancement, and we scientists and engineers must do our part to make that case.

True, even the call and response themselves are hopeful signs, given that until recently the government debate was over the size of projected cuts in federal research spending. Focusing on the size of a possible increase is certainly a more healthy debate for the country and for those responsible for investing wisely in our future.

However, it is still largely unclear which societal needs will prove most persuasive to Congress and the...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?