This article is not the first to lament the changes in how research and development is funded in the United States. In The Future Postponed: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit, the authors, MIT faculty members from a variety of fields, suggest that a lack of basic research investment threatens U.S. innovation. This report, which SSTI previously covered, highlights a national decline in basic research investment as well as numerous examples of how potential benefits from expanding basic research could drive U.S. inventiveness.
Recent activity in the U.S. House of Representatives, such as passing the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015, lends credence to the important role the federal government has in financing research and development. Without increasing spending, the bill would increase funding for science agencies that conduct fundamental discovery science by 5 percent, offsetting those increases with cuts to programs that focus on later-stage technology development, commercialization activities, and research on climate, social, and geo-science.
Taken together, these issues highlight the need for reconsideration of basic research spending in the United States. Using a variety of data sources, this Digest series provides a long-term analysis to assess how basic research has changed over time within the larger context of research and development in the United States.
For the full report: http://ssti.org/blog/changing-nature-us-basic-research-trends-federal-spending?utm_source=SSTI+Weekly+Digest&utm_campaign=4a1ba8e33c-SSTI_Weekly_Digest_5_21_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ecf5992d4c-4a1ba8e33c-220101229