[EAS] Science Debate 2008

Peter J. Kindlmann pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Tue Feb 5 01:31:20 EST 2008

Dear Colleagues -

You haven't heard much from me lately, but this is time-critical and 
important for my US readers. 21 Nobel laureates and more than 12,000 
scientists and business leaders, now both National Academies, the 
AAAS, many universities and many other individuals and organizations 
are calling for clear answers from the top presidential candidates on 
issues related to science and technology.

Get the details at <http://www.sciencedebate2008.com/> and add your 
support to the cause. If you need more motivation, look at the last 
science budget passed by Congress. To quote Bob Park's "What's New" 
newsletter of Jan.11, 2008

DOE will pull the plug on the PEP-II collider at SLAC on March 1, seven
months ahead of schedule, resulting in the layoff of 125 employees.  To
keep the Tevatron at Fermilab going in the search for the Higgs, all
employees will take 2 or 3 days a month of unpaid leave.  Work on the
International Linear Collider was terminated.  The U.S. reneged on its
commitment to the international fusion energy program, ITER.  Other DOE
programs were also cut along with NSF and NIST. 

Why did the basic science budget, which was sailing smoothly six months
ago, hit an iceberg?  And why was high-energy physics thrown overboard? 
We can worry about laying blame later, but nothing is ever quite final in
Washington.   Right now we have to start swimming.  Yesterday, APS
President Arthur Bienenstock issued an urgent appeal to members to write
to their congressional delegation and to President Bush to urge emergency
supplemental appropriations.  He included a sample letter making the
connection between basic research and economic growth - even as the
morning papers were using the word "recession."  My advice is not to
agonize over language.  Your letter is more likely to be counted than
read.  Just make it clear what you want in the first sentence.


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