Thanks to my dad for reminding me about “Talk of the Nation: Science Friday”. I usually miss the program because of work, but in this age of on-demand internet audio it’s no trouble to catch up with a podcast. I have a bunch I listen to on the weekend, and TOTN-SF is one of them. This week was particularly important, as it addressed the choice of the 110th Congress to “avoid the FY07 budget process”:http://www.scienceaction.org/soapbox/1168295351/index_html (left unfinished by the 109th) and instead pursue a stop-gap measure so they can concentrate on FY08.
Look, I understand that the 109th failed to do their job. As the TOTN-SF program notes, this is really odd because the increase in science funding planned for FY07 (after years of cuts) was a bi-partisan effort, stretching back to the Democrats’ “Innovation Agenda” and culminating with the “American Competitiveness Initiative” of the President. Despite overwhelming bi-partisan support, the House passed the appropriations bill for the Department of Energy and it then stalled in the Senate. Despite the suggestion in the autumn that the new Congress would fight to pass that bill, the whole effort has been avoided. The 109th may have left a mess for the 110th, but that’s not an excuse to shove the mess into the closet.
Have a listen: “http://www.sciencefriday.com/pages/2007/Jan/hour1_011207.html”:http://www.sciencefriday.com/pages/2007/Jan/hour1_011207.html.
It was also nice to hear Mike Lubell, with whom I’ve had dealings in the past concerning the user organization lobbying at SLAC and Fermilab.