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Mar 2 / Dave Schumaker

The Happy Scientist

The Happy Scientist
Is this the happiest scientist on Earth, thanks to the stimulus package?

A few days ago, the Discover Magazine blog posted an entry called “Scientists Gone Wild! The Best Science Reactions to the Stimulus.” They covered reactions by various scientists about the newly passed stimulus legislation and the increased funding for scientific endeavors.

In their article, they used the above photo. Some keen readers at home might notice the happy scientist featured in the posted photo is yours truly, the editor of the Geology News blog. Nice!

Anyway, the total amount of science funding in the stimulus package was $21.5 billion U.S. dollars. The American Institute of Physics posted a letter written by Representatives in the House, in support of science funding.

Dear Chairmen Obey and Inouye and Ranking Members Lewis and Cochran,

Thank you for your work on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and your attention to science funding. In conference we urge you to support science funding at least the levels passed by the House.

Science investments in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create jobs, modernize our science facilities, and invest in the critical fields that will keep the United States competitive globally. A successful economic recovery plan should advance our nation’s research priorities and future economic growth will depend on the innovation that has driven our country since its founding.

The House version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes vital investments for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. These investments will promote both blue and white collar jobs by funding improvements to laboratories and facilities that are approved and shovel ready, and investing in the research programs that will drive innovation. A recent report estimated that every $1 billion investment in our nation’s innovation infrastructure would create 20,000 jobs.

Government investment in research and development programs spurs private investment, multiplying the effects of scarce federal dollars while leading to the discovery of new technologies and fostering innovation. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a unique opportunity to reverse the trend of declining research and development investment and lay a strong foundation for our nation’s prosperity and ability to face energy, security, health, and environmental challenges. Investment in science over the next two years creates jobs in the short term while building a foundation for long term economic growth.

We respectfully request that science investments be given a high priority and that their funding be maintained at least the House levels through the conference process. Funding these critical science investments will help address both the near-term need for an economic stimulus and the ongoing need to rebuild the nation’s scientific and engineering infrastructure upon which the future of American revitalization and innovation depends.


Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Tim Bishop (D-NY)
Lois Capps (D-CA)
Michael E. Capuano (D-MA)
Donna M. Christensen (D-VI, Delegate)
Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Vernon Ehlers (R-MI)
Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA)
Bill Foster (D-IL)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Rush Holt (D-NJ)
Michael M. Honda (D-CA)
Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Dale Kildee (D-MI)
Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH)
Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL)
Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Carolyn B. Maloney ((D-NY)
Eric Massa (D-NY)
Jerry McNerney (D-CA)
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)
Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)
David Price (D-NC)
Joseph Sestak (D-PA)
Bart Stupak (D-MI)
Betty Sutton (D-OH)
Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Peter Welch (D-VT)

Note: Please do not comment on the above happy scientist and his lack of protective goggles and rolled up sleeves while he boils fossilized diatoms in vats of acid for a thesis project.

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