Friday, 6 February 98 Washington, DC
1. **BUDGET: LARGEST INCREASE IN NON-DEFENSE R&D IN HISTORY.**
The combination of a budget surplus and a year-long lobbying
effort by scientists resulted in a budget request for a record
8% increase in civilian research. The scientific community built its
lobbying effort around the Gramm-Lieberman bill calling for a
doubling of science funding. It's still a long, difficult road to
appropriations in October, but it's a great start. There is the
usual confusion over just what some of the numbers mean, but here
are a few of the highlights of the President's request:
- NSF research is up almost 12%. For Mathematics and Physical Sciences
the increase is 10.7%. Priorities are in the areas of Knowledge and
Distributed Intelligence, Life and Earth's Environment, and
Educating for the Future.
- DOE Office of Energy Research is up 10% to $2.71B. The biggest
increase is in Basic Energy Sciences, which goes up 25% to $836M.
That includes $157M to get started on a $1.3B Spallation Neutron
Source at Oak Ridge. High Energy Physics up 1.7%, and $65M is
requested for the LHC, which remains on an annual appropriation.
Nuclear Physics is up 3.7%; Fusion Energy is down 0.7%.
- NASA continues to do more with less. AXAF is set for launch
this year. A Mars orbiter will launch in December, followed by a
Mars lander a month later. Gravity Probe-B goes up in 2000; the
Space Infrared Telescope Facility in 2003. It was announced that a
Europa orbiter will launch in 2003. The total budget is down 1.3%,
but space science is up almost 4%. NASA will continue to study
low-Earth orbit, and re-orbit a septuagenarian in October.
- DOD is focusing on 6.1 (basic) research, which increases 6.6%.
- NIST research is up 6.3% and an increase of 35% is requested for
the Advanced Technology Program that the Republicans hate
2. OBITUARY: GERTRUDE SCHARFF GOLDHABER DIED MONDAY AT 86.
One of the great women pioneers in what was an almost exclusively
male profession, Trudy Goldhaber discovered at the U. of Illinois
in 1942 that neutrons are emitted in spontaneous fission. Because
it was classified, she received little recognition. In 1948, she
and her husband, Maurice Goldhaber, confirmed the identity of beta
rays and atomic electrons. A PhD student of W. Gerlach in Munich,
she felt ostracized after Hitler took over in 1933. She fled in 1935,
and did post-doctoral research with G.P. Thompson in London. An
inspiration to generations of women in physics, she was only the
third female physicist elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Asked how she succeeded in a male-dominated field, she once said she
married the right man. For more about her and other women in