Phil Gramm proposes funding increase; was: WHAT WILL THE REPUBLICANS DO WITH NIH?

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Wed Jun 26 17:01:38 EST 1996

On Wed, 26 Jun 1996, J. D. McDonald wrote:

> Brad Keele wrote:
> >=20
> > The Houston Chronicle carried a story off the AP wire in the June
> > 24, 1996 edition (p. 14A) that seems encouraging.
> >=20
> > I'll paraphrase the best I can.
> >=20
> > Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) is introducing legislation to increase the
> > amount of tax dollars spent to fund scientific research.  About 30
> > years ago, 5.7 % of the federal budget (6=A2 per tax dollar) was spent
> > on funding science.  Currently, about 2=A2 of every tax dollar (1.9%
> > of the federal budget) is spent on research; going to NIH, NASA, and
> > NSF (and the research dept. of other gov't agencies).  Gramm's
> > proposal is to raise this to 4=A2 per tax dollar by the year 2002.=20
> Remember that the Republican passed NSF appropriation had a 5%
> increase in it. This increase was vetoed by President Clinton.=20
> This is of course nowhere near a factor of two. But a 5% increase
> is better than a decrease. Even a 40% increase would, if
> channeled into real research grants would put non-biomedical
> research in the US in excellent shape.
> And remember that even biomedical research these days is totally
> dependent on advances made in previous years in physical and
> organic chemistry and engineering disciplines. Except
> for genetics research, further advances in biomedical wil=20
> also depend of previous advances in more basic fields.
> Doug McDonald

Preciesly, Doug. And in order to keep basic research going
you need MUCH more equitable distribution system of funding,
with much LESS dependence on the present-style peer review
process. FIRST do this, THEN ask for 'more money' .
See other posters on sliding scale and Forsdyke's=20
bicameral review.

And unless and until this message (that the prime problem
is NOT the total research budget) not get to the core of the=20
research community, 5 % , 10 % or 100 % increase will
not achieve anything.

Alex Berezin =20

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