Chart of the Day: How Science Stacks Up in the US Budget — from an Atlantic article entitled, “The Innovation Nation vs. the Warfare-Welfare State“:

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Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.


3 Thoughts on "Chart of the Day: How Science Stacks Up in the US Budget"

This is a bad graph. It leaves out most of the 20+ agencies that do basic research, and excludes applied research. For example, DOE’s Office of Science does $5 billion in mostly basic physical science, equal to NSF’s research budget. The federal basic research budget is about $60 billion, which is a lot. Adding applied R&D takes it well over $200 billion, probably close to the Medicaid budget, but then the graph loses its punch. Note too that basic research typically pays off, if at all, in 30 years or so, so we are talking about the economy in 2040, not now or soon. Basic research and innovation have little to do with one another.

Fortunately basic research is doing pretty well in the present budget crunch, but hyping it does not help.

If you tried including a bar for arts and humanities (NEA and NEH) on this chart, it would be all but invisible!

Very true Sandy. However, NEA claims that its small grants generate a lot of support from other sources. For that matter, do we really want the Federal government controlling art the way it controls basic research?

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