CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Idea of the Day: The Science Gap

  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

idea light bulbThe National Science Foundation, or NSF; the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST; and the Department of Energy Office of Science, or DOE Science, provide a substantial amount of the country’s basic research funding, which underpins much of the United States’ technological progress. These three basic research agencies have a history of bipartisan support—President George W. Bush first called for doubling their funding in his 2006 State of the Union address, and a similar plan was endorsed by the bipartisan America COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010, as well as by President Barack Obama.

Despite bipartisan agreement to double funding for basic research, Congress has not followed up with the appropriations necessary to meet this goal. In the three years after the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 was passed, NSF, NIST, and DOE Science faced a gap of nearly $6 billion in funding; this can be thought of as “Science Gap 1.0.” Given the huge return on investment from basic research, this lost funding has major economic implications and even risks eroding the science-based military advantage that serves as a cornerstone of our national security.

For more on this idea, please see:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here