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National Academy of Sciences (US) Committee on Criteria for Federal Support of Research and Development. Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1995.

Cover of Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology

Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology.

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Looking to the Future

A robust national system of innovation lies at the heart of our economy, our health, and our national security. That system of innovation depends on federal investments. The committee believes that its recommendations address a crucial need: maintaining the strength and vigor of U.S. research and development despite the prospect of declining federal discretionary spending over the next several years. Seeing the science and technology enterprise through the lens of a unified FS&T budget can help leaders in government and the American public to gauge its fiscal health. A carefully constructed comprehensive budget offers a unitary view, not artificially balkanized into agency budgets, but sensitive to the complexities and relationships among government programs vital to maintaining the United States at the forefront of world-class science and technology. The corollary proposals provide the basis for continuing excellence—emphasizing programs and people rather than institutions, subjecting all federal science and technology activities to competitive merit review, linking science and engineering research to education, and maintaining a pluralistic system of research and development tied to public missions. The committee's recommendations are designed to help root out obsolete or noncompetitive activities, allowing good programs to be replaced by even better ones.

Science and technology have utterly transformed our world over the past 50 years, touching almost every aspect of our daily lives—from communication to transportation to health (Box I.5). They will be at least as important over the next half century. Preeminence in science and technology has become a national asset, at once a point of pride and an immensely practical investment. Prudent stewardship of science and technology, as much as any other area of federal policy, will dictate how our children and our grandchildren live.

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Box I.5

LESSONS FROM THE PAST AND SOME OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE. Though enormously visionary, the scientists and political leaders who set the United States on its post-World War II research and development course could never have foreseen the extraordinary (more...)

Copyright © 1995, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK45552

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