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AAAS Studies Trends in Research
Which fields of research are gaining the most support? AAAS studies of trends in federal research by discipline from 1970 to 2001 show that federal funding for the life sciences has quadrupled over the past three decades. By contrast, funding for engineering, physical sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, computer sciences, social sciences, and psychology (which receive their funding from several different agencies) are relatively flat, or at most, show modest growth. Funding for the life sciences, meanwhile, has skyrocketed in parallel with the NIH budget.
Science magazine's predictions for 2002 show that balanced R&D spending could support an array of advances. Specifically, significant advances are expected in:
- astronomy with the proposed launch of a second large telescope in Chile;
- more precise global positioning systems through the use of optical clocks that rely on visible light waves; and
- greater clarity of visualization systems through improved imaging technology; and
- faster computers that will allow us to examine biological molecules and watch cell signaling as it occurs.
"Our continued national security and improving quality of life depend on a uniformly healthy and rapidly growing science and technology enterprise," said AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner. His testimony, before the U.S. Senate Science, Technology and Space Subcommittee, "reflects our belief that balanced and strong support across the entire science and technology enterprise is critical to the nation's future," he said.
- For a complete copy of Dr. Leshner's testimony, contact the AAAS Office of Public Programs at (202) 326-6440, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- AAAS sponsors an annual Colloquium on Science and Technology Policy, and has prepared its annual analysis of science and technology-related appropriations bills, now before Congress: Current Status of FY 2003 Appropriations Bills
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