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Support for fortifying NSF

Researchers agree on need for more infrastructure but not at cost of core programs.

Ted Agres(tedagres@lycos.com)

Life scientists and biochemical researchers are endorsing a proposal that the National Science Foundation (NSF) allocate more funds for infrastructure and facilities, but they also worry that any such increase might be taken from the hide of core programs and investigator-initiated research grants.

In a draft report released December 4, the NSF's policy-making arm, the National Science Board (NSB), declared an "urgent and immediate need" to increase the share of NSF's budget devoted to science and engineering infrastructure, especially for new computational tools, rapid and shared database access, and "cyberinfrastructure."

"There is an urgent need to increase federal investments aimed at providing access for scientists to the latest and best scientific infrastructure," stated the NSB report, titled, "Science and Engineering Infrastructure for the 21st Century: The Role of the National Science Foundation."

Early responses from the research community (the comment period closes January 9) support increasing infrastructure, said...

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