Crisis for NSF



The Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee that funds the VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies, chaired by Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), has produced a report (number 103–137) that threatens the existence of the National Science Foundation as we know it.

The report accompanied NSF's appropriations bill, HR2491, for the upcoming 1994 fiscal year. The language of this report is inflammatory and seems designed to hinder cooperation between the committee and the scientific community. It states that if NSF does not redirect a minimum of 60% of its research effort into strategically-driven science as opposed to curiosity-driven science, NSF will “diminish into becoming nothing more than a national endowment for science,” and “future R&D budgets should instead be allocated more generously to agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NASA, the national energy labs, or the National Institutes of Health, all of whom seem poised to pursue critical technologies with entrepreneurial vigor and enthusiasm.”