Members in the Media
From: Science

Words are more precious than money for NSF


House Republicans have backed off from a controversial attempt to set funding levels for specific disciplines within the National Science Foundation (NSF). They have also agreed to give NSF officials a freer hand in deciding whether a research proposal benefits society.

The changes are contained in a budget agreement announced today that would give NSF a 1.6% increase, to $7.46 billion, in the 2016 fiscal year, which runs until 30 September. The added $119 million exceeds budget levels in separate bills that had stalled in the House and Senate. However, it falls well short of the 5.2% boost that President Barack Obama had requested in February for the agency.

A freeze is better than a steep cut, acknowledges Alan Kraut, executive director emeritus of the Association for Psychological Science. But such a “hollow victory” leaves much to be done, he adds. “The task for the year ahead,” Kraut says, “is to continue to demonstrate to those on the Hill what all of us in the community already know, that the nation’s most pressing problems—the violence of terrorism, economic well-being, learning and literacy, international negotiations, ethnic and minority group discrimination—all have at their core a social and behavioral base that simply cannot be addressed without the knowledge from the social and behavioral research that NSF supports.”

Read the whole story: Science

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