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GENERAL SCIENCE, SPACE, AND TECHNOLOGY
National Needs Statement:
• Expand scientific knowledge through support of basic research in all fields of science.
• Develop a greater understanding of the Earth, the solar system, and the universe through space research and exploration.
• Develop and demonstrate more practical, economic, and productive applications of space technology.
The missions and programs that meet these national needs represent only a part of the Federal Government's funding for research and development, including basic research. Most Federal funding for research and development is included in other functional categories of the budget because it addresses specific national needs in such areas as national defense, energy, health, agriculture, and environment. Special Analysis P, “Research and Development,” in the Special Analyses volume of the budget, discusses the full range of Federal research and development programs. To help meet national needs in general science, space, and technology, the Federal Government will spend an estimated $5.1 billion in supporting the following major missions in 1979: • General science and basic research: $1.3 billion. • Space flight: $2.3 billion. • Space science, applications, and technology: $1.2 billion. • Supporting space activities: $0.4 billion. To carry out these missions, special emphasis is given in this budget to: • Increased funding for basic research as part of a Governmentwide effort to continue real growth in the overall level of Federal support for such research. • Continued development of the space shuttle system and procurement of four shuttle orbiters for operations from both east and West Coasts. • Development of a satellite system for measuring energy radiation to and from Earth, as part of the administration's climate research initiative. • Development of a spacecraft to study the polar regions of the Sun for the first time. The major missions in this function are supported by the programs shown in the following table.
NATIONAL NEED: INCREASING BASIC SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND USE OF
General science and basic research.—The 1979 budget recommends continued real growth in the overall level of Federal funding for basic research and an emphasis throughout the budget on research related to critical national problems. Total obligations for the conduct of basic research across all Federal programs, including basic research funded in other functional categories, are estimated at over $3.6 billion in 1979. This represents an increase of $359 million, 10.9% over the 1978 dollar level and about 5% above expected inflation.
Through basic research the Nation seeks to enhance its fundamental knowledge about natural phenomena to provide the foundation for applied research directed toward practical applications. The administration believes that the continued advancement of basic knowledge in all fields of science is essential to the continued growth of the economy and to the understanding and ultimate solution of problems in many
areas of national concern, such as health, energy, environment, and national defense.
The Federal Government supports about two-thirds of the Nation's basic research. The private sector underinvests in such research because of the long-term nature and uncertainty of payoffs, and therefore, increased Federal support, as provided in the 1979 budget, meets an essential national need. The administration believes, however, that private investment in basic research is critical to the overall national effort and that industry also should seek to strengthen its level of support.
The allocation of funds provided in the 1979 budget for basic research was made by the administration following a review of the objectives of all agencies and departments with major research and development programs. This review focused not only on the need to maintain a vigorous national research effort in all areas of scientific inquiry but also on the need for accelerated basic research in areas of acute public concern and government responsibility.
The key programs that directly support the mission of general science and basic research are those of the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. Outlays for this mission are estimated to total $1.3 billion in 1979.
260-000 O - 78 - 7
National Science Foundation programs.-The budget recommends an
increase in outlays for the National Science Foundation (NSF) from $825 million in 1978 to $857 million in 1979. Proposed obligations will, however, show a much greater increase: from $870 million in 1978 to $947 million in 1979, or nearly 9%.
The Foundation supports basic research because funding of such research by other Federal agencies in pursuit of their specific program objectives is not sufficient to advance science across all disciplines. The Foundation also funds programs in applied research in selected areas of national need and in science education at all levels.
In 1979, the Foundation proposes to emphasize basic studies related to long-term national problems, such as substitute materials for rare metals and the causes of variations in the climate (particularly as they relate to the carbon dioxide cycle). Higher levels are generally requested for science applications programs in 1979, following the 1978 reorientation of these programs. The program of earthquake-related basic and applied research and engineering will be accelerated.
Department of Energy general science programs.-An increase in outlays from $363 million in 1978 to $415 million is recommended in 1979 for research by the Department of Energy in high-energy physics, nuclear physics, and in the biomedical and life sciences.
The high-energy physics program supports studies of the fundamental properties and structure of energy and matter to obtain new scientific knowledge about the underlying forces of nature. Highenergy physics research depends primarily upon the utilization of large national accelerator facilities. These facilities accelerate elementary particles, such as protons or electrons, and scatter them from target nuclei; observing these scattering processes is the key to this research. The energy saver project at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has moved from the research and development stage and is proposed as a construction project in 1979. This accelerator will be the most powerful fixed-target accelerator in existence. In addition, the intersecting storage accelerator project (ISABELLE), initiated in 1978, is to continue toward projected initial operation in 1986. This facility will be the highest energy colliding beam accelerator in the world and will make possible new experiments to investigate recent theories dealing with fundamental forces.
The nuclear physics program is concerned with experimental and theoretical studies of the properties and dynamics of atomic nuclei and the characterization of the forces that govern their interaction. These investigations are also largely carried out in national accelerator facilities. Construction of a high intensity uranium beam project at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory will begin in 1979, and is scheduled for completion in 1981. This project will increase the ability of scientists to work with heavy atomic nuclei such as uranium.
The life sciences and biomedical research program seeks better understanding of how physical and chemical agents interact with life processes in ecological systems and in human and animal populations. In addition, research is conducted to develop medical uses of nuclear technology, such as the use of stable and radioactive isotopes for disease detection.
Tax expenditures.—The tax code encourages private sector research and development, including basic research, by allowing expenditures for such purposes to be deducted as a current expense rather than capitalized and amortized over future years. The resulting tax expenditure is estimated at $1.5 billion in 1979.
Related programs.-As noted above, most of the Federal Government's basic research funds are allocated to other budget functions, ! since they directly support other specific national needs or missions.
The following table lists obligations by agency for total Federal support for the conduct of basic research. It excludes funds for major facilities, such as those discussed above under Department of Energy general science programs. More detailed information is provided in Special Analysis P, "Research and Development.
FEDERAL OBLIGATIONS FOR THE CONDUCT OF BASIC RESEARCH
[In millions of dollars!
550 Health, Education, and Welfare.
321 245 158 31 27 20 35
262 164 33 31 28 31