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STScI Webcast

2012 Science Colloquia

Austerity In the Age of Innovation

Presented by: Bethany Johns (AAS Bahcall Fellow)
Category: Science Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes   Broadcast date: March 27, 2012
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Abstract: Federal budget cuts, deficit spending, raising the debt ceiling, mandatory spending, fiscal responsibility, balancing the budget – these phrases are guiding much of the debate on Capitol Hill and the 2012 election campaigns. This rhetoric affects you and the funding for the sciences. The Obama Administration believes that funding the sciences and education is the way to, “Out innovate, out educate, and out build,” the rest of the world and has proposed a federal budget that supports this initiative. However, the debate in Congress is about how the federal deficit impacts our global economic competitiveness and how cuts in spending are necessary for a stable government. This debate has led to a late enactment of the fiscal year 2011 federal budget and next year 2013 federal budget is expected to be delayed because of the election. The current political climate has caused Congress’s approval rating to reach an all time low and created confusion on how the federal budget process usually works. There are points throughout the year when you can make an impact on the policy making process. The Decadal Surveys produced by the astrophysics, planetary science and heliophysics communities in the United States, impact policy by the community coming to a consensus and prioritizing the science it wants to accomplish within the decade. I will speak on the current events on the federal budget, the current climate for science funding, and the impact you can make on the policy making process for science and astronomy.

Related Documents

Bethany Johns' presentation PDF document (.pdf)