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Research Funds Bonanza Going Up in Smoke?

T he Senate's snuffing of anti-tobacco legislation last month also extinguished some optimism for increased science funding for fiscal year 1999, which begins Oct. 1, 1998. "It's definitely a setback," Mary Woolley, president of Research!America, admits. President Bill Clinton had earmarked some of the anticipated revenue from proposed increases in cigarette taxes to pay for a boost in biomedical research funding. Without that revenue, Research!America's goal of doubling biomedical research fu

Paul Smaglik

T he Senate's snuffing of anti-tobacco legislation last month also extinguished some optimism for increased science funding for fiscal year 1999, which begins Oct. 1, 1998.

"It's definitely a setback," Mary Woolley, president of Research!America, admits. President Bill Clinton had earmarked some of the anticipated revenue from proposed increases in cigarette taxes to pay for a boost in biomedical research funding. Without that revenue, Research!America's goal of doubling biomedical research funding in five years becomes more difficult (P. Smaglik, The Scientist, 11[22]:1, Nov. 10, 1997). Even with higher cigarette taxes, that goal would have been challenging. Doubling research requires a 15 percent boost in the National Institutes of Health's budget from FY 1999 to FY 2003; President Clinton has requested an 8.4 percent increase for NIH in FY 1999--a figure that includes projected revenue from tobacco.

Some Republicans had been critical of the budgeting that...

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