State of the Union

I decided to read the transcript rather than listen to the speech. Here is the line that we have been waiting for.

First, I propose to double the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next 10 years. This funding will support the work of America’s most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing and alternative energy sources.

Ten years is a long time in Washington. It will span the rest of this adminstration and then one or two more presidents. NIH was successfully doubled over a span of years, but a plan to double NSF’s budget has not succeeded so far. The first data will come next week when the President’s budget request is released.

The folks at Cosmic Variance are discussing this topic also. Skepticism seems to be the order of the day so far. I know that there is a long and complicated process to implement the promise made last night, but I think that  there is recognition of the problem in various  parts of the government.

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