Should Scientists Budget Science?

When NAS’s Frank Press said yes, some science leaders balked WASHINGTON--National Academy of Sciences president Frank Press took an unusually bold plunge into dangerous waters last month by calling for a new approach to funding science. Instead of forcing Congress to choose from among a bewildering array of costly projects, Press told NAS members, scientists themselves should decide what’s best. Frank Press has suggested that federal funding of science be divided into three ca

Jeffrey Mervis
May 29, 1988

When NAS’s Frank Press said yes, some science leaders balked

WASHINGTON--National Academy of Sciences president Frank Press took an unusually bold plunge into dangerous waters last month by calling for a new approach to funding science. Instead of forcing Congress to choose from among a bewildering array of costly projects, Press told NAS members, scientists themselves should decide what’s best.

Frank Press has suggested that federal funding of science be divided into three categories. He says his priorities are based on a desire to "maintain American leadership in science and technology, and, steadily overcome the current national budget deficit." The following is reprinted from his NAS speech of April 26.

To be funded now, with the highest priority, during a time of budgetary constraint when all agency budgets will be limited.

1.Preserving the human resource base and the pipeline for science and technology. This means absolute priority for training and...