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Lawmakers Consider the NSF's Future


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U.S. dollar with NSF logo

Large increases in federal spending on science research are needed to ensure America keeps an innovative edge over other nations in years to come, senior government officials told lawmakers this week.

"For the first time in decades, the United States' leadership in science and engineering is facing intense global competition. Other nations, especially China, are investing vast resources in basic research and industries of the future, like artificial intelligence," National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said in a hearing before a House subcommittee. "Advances in technologies like AI, quantum information science, and even the technologies we cannot yet conceive of, will influence the global balance of power for generations to come."

In an initial discretionary budget request, the Biden administration proposed $10.2 billion for NSF, a 20% increase over the 2021 enacted level. Other bills aimed at boosting basic research funding have also been put forth in both the House and the Senate.

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