Science Budget: A Zero-Sum Game

Bioscientist Royston turns his attention to creating a center in San Diego's crowded research community WASHINGTON--The debate is over, says presidential science adviser Allan Bromley. The federal science budget is a question of priorities. And for members of the United States scientific community, this means that from now on they must persuade the politically powerful that their cause is more worthy of precious federal dollars than the other domestic needs facing the country. Throughout the

Jeffrey Mervis
Dec 9, 1990

Bioscientist Royston turns his attention to creating a center in San Diego's crowded research community
WASHINGTON--The debate is over, says presidential science adviser Allan Bromley. The federal science budget is a question of priorities. And for members of the United States scientific community, this means that from now on they must persuade the politically powerful that their cause is more worthy of precious federal dollars than the other domestic needs facing the country.

Throughout the 1980s, as the federal deficit mounted, analysts argued about whether the scientific community should set clear priorities and risk the loss of funding for some projects or, instead, campaign for an overall increase in spending on science that would benefit all concerned. Now, with the ink barely dry on the 1991 federal budget, Bromley says that the first approach has carried the day. But he doesn't think that good science will suffer.

"It's clear now...