Sonafabitch! While we may have gotten rid of the Buch/Cheney anti-science figureheads, it appears we've still got some insurgency to deal with among the pro-moron contingency in Washington. The bastards are trying to slash NSF funding!
I know things weren't exactly sunshine and puppydogs, but it was nice to see the $3 Billion boost to NSF's funding that was supposed to be coming on. NOW, however, Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are leading an effort to zero out the NSF's funding, as well as whacking considerable chunks off of other science-heavy government projects. Specifically, the cuts are:
NASA exploration $750,000,000 = 50%
NSF $1,402,000,000 = 100%
NOAA $427,000,000 = 34.94%
NIST $218,000,000 = 37.91%
DOE energy efficiency & renewable energy $1,000,000,000 = 38%
DOE office of science $100,000,000 = 100%
We gots ta put things right folks; the Science Debate people have sent out a helpful list of THINGS TO DO, including CALLING and E-MAILING your two state senators. Seriously, guys, do this, ESPECIALLY the "calling" part of the exercise. You can find your senators here.
Important things to mention in regards to protecting science funding include:
A) Science & technology have produced half of the economic growth of the United States since WWII.
B) Spending on basic research is the single greatest economic engine this country has ever known.
C) Funding to federal granting agencies is about as "shovel-ready" a stimulus as you can get. If the granting agencies lower their score thresholds for awards across the board the money will be flowing within months, leading to rapid hiring and increased purchasing from technical service and supply companies that are largely American, and creating thousands of the kinds of high-quality jobs the country needs.
IF THAT DOESN'T WORK, then I guess we'll have to just break out the molotav cocktails and go to work.