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Science & Technology in Congress FY 2017

A new report offers a comprehensive review of R&D funding decisions in the current appropriations cycle.



This project, which provides a set of analyses on R&D funding debates in the FY 2017 budget cycle, is a collective product of the Intersociety Working Group, a long-running and evolving collaboration of more than two dozen leading science societies and other organizations in the science and innovation policy realm; download the full report (1.9 MB).


Research and development (R&D) continues to be of vital importance to the United States in the 21st century, and the federal role in supporting the national science enterprise remains substantial. The President’s annual budget and the Congressional debate around it are the mechanisms through which that role is defined and embellished. This report is intended to foster understanding of those mechanisms among the science and engineering community and provide a record of key debates. Within this volume, readers will find a broad assortment of essays on an array of topics. These include debates over facilities and disciplines at the National Science Foundation; science and exploration priorities for NASA; recent support for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health; and continuing conflicts over climate and environmental science funding. In addition to these are surveys of policy and funding debates in advanced computing, agriculture, chemistry, and other topics.

The report was assembled by the AAAS Office of Government Relations in collaboration with more than two dozen scientific, engineering, and higher education institutions known collectively as the Intersociety Working Group. This volume continues the working group’s long-running efforts, now in their fourth decade, to highlight and explain ongoing issues in Washington science funding. In addition, AAAS budget and policy work falls under the auspices of our Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy.

Download the full report (1.9 MB)


Chapter 1: The Political and Policy Context for the FY 2017 R&D Budget
Joanne Padrón Carney, AAAS

Chapter 2: An Analysis of Defense Science & Technology Funding for FY 2017
John Latini, Penn State University

Chapter 3: Funding Debates and Outlook for the National Science Foundation in FY 2017
Amy Scott and Tobin Smith, AAU

Chapter 4: NIH’s Big Year
Erin Heath, AAAS

Chapter 5: Department of Energy
Michael S. Lubell and Mark T. Elsesser, APS

Chapter 6: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Steve Sidorek, AIAA

Chapter 7: U.S. Geological Survey
Kasey Shewey White, GSA

Chapter 8: Veterans Affairs R&D
Clayton Crabtree and Matthew Shick, AAMC; Heather O’Beirne Kelly, APA

Chapter 9: Astronomy and Astrophysics
Heather Bloemhard and Joel R. Parriott, AAS

Chapter 10: Federal Issues in Weather and Climate
Paul A.T. Higgins, AMS

Chapter 11: Geoscience Funding
Abigail Seadler, AGI

Chapter 12: Biological and Ecological Sciences
Alison Mize, ESA; Julie Palakovich Carr, AIBS

Chapter 13: Chemistry Funding in the FY 2017 Budget
Stephanie DeLuca and Caroline Trupp Gil, ACS

Chapter 14: Some Good News in FY 2017 Appropriations for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
Pat Kobor and Heather Kelly, APA; Juliane Baron and Christy Talbot, AERA; Wendy Naus and Angela Sharpe, COSSA

Chapter 15: National Science Foundation Support for the Mathematical Sciences in the FY 2017 Budget Request
Samuel M. Rankin III, AMS

Chapter 16: Computing Research in FY 2017
Peter Harsha and Brian Mosley, CRA

Chapter 17: National Nanotechnology Investment in the FY 2017 Budget
M.C. Roco, ASME

Chapter 18: Mechanical Engineering in FY 2017
Thomas A. Gardner, Jr., ASME

Chapter 19: Materials Research in the FY 2017 Budget
Damon A. Dozier, MRS

Chapter 20: Food Security Funding in FY 2017
Lowell Randel, FASS

Chapter 21: Agriculture R&D Outside of USDA
Bethany Johns, ASA, CSSA, SSSA

Chapter 22: Food Safety and Nutrition Research and Development in FY 2017
Sarah Ohlhorst, ASN, and Jaheon Koo, IFT 

Download the full report (1.9 MB)