Geophysics and overall science strong in FY 1985 budget



A Mars mission, a new research thrust on the continental lithosphere, increased efforts in digital cartography, and construction of a Very Long Baseline Array radio telescope top the list of highlights for geophysics-related research in the proposed fiscal 1985 federal budget that President Ronald Reagan sent to Congress earlier this month.

Science in general fared well in this fourth Reagan budget. Research and development support would grow 14% to $53 billion ($51.8 billion would go to conduct of R&D, while $1.3 billion would be allocated to R&D facilities). With a projected inflation rate of about 4%, this increase would provide real growth of 10% over fiscal 1984 levels. The largest increase for R&D, 22%, would support defense modernization. Figure 1 compares nondefense federal R&D obligations since 1978 in constant 1983 dollars, while Table 1 compares conduct of R&D by major departments and agencies.