WEST BERLIN—West German scientists appear to be increasingly unhappy with their government’s decision to boost spending on space research at the expense of fundamental science.

The Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research, the principal state organization funding applied sciences, has come out against the 16 percent increase for space planned in the country’s 1988 R&D budget. It echoes earlier criticism from the Max Planck Society, which is devoted to basic research (See THE SCIENTIST, January 25, p. 7). The Fraunhofer Society is scheduled for a 7.5 percent increase, compared with only 2.9 percent for the Max Planck Society.

In particular, Fraunhofer officials are skeptical of the promised political and economic benefits that would stem from a greater investment in manned spaceflight. Some of the strongest criticism has come from Professor Helmar Krupp, president of one of the society’s major centers, the Karlsuhebased Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation....

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