WASHINGTON, DC -- (March 24, 1997) -- The forecast for federal R&D funding has improved over past budget proposals, yet all signs continue to point downward as the Administration and Congress press for a balanced budget by the year 2002.
Following a 3.3 percent reduction in R&D spending over the past three years, the latest analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) shows that the President's R&D budget for FY 1998 will cut federal R&D spending by an additional 14 percent (in inflation-adjusted dollars) by 2002. Two years ago, Congress proposed a 33 percent reduction in R&D by the year 2002. A detailed report of the AAAS analysis will be presented at the 22nd Annual AAAS Colloquium on Science and Technology Policy April 23-25 in Washington. A brief preview report was released today by AAAS.
"Each successive budget plan proposed by Congress and the Administration since July 1995 has shown some improvement over previous projections in terms of future support for R&D programs," said Al Teich, director of the AAAS Science and Policy Programs. "Improved economic forecasts and concerted efforts to protect R&D have helped diminish some of the massive cuts previously proposed. While some in the scientific community may feel they can breathe a sigh of relief on seeing the latest figures, it is important to remember that these numbers don't mean that things are getting better for R&D; they're just projected to decline more slowly."
According to the AAAS analysis of the President's budget for FY 1998: