FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Optical Society
Optical Society of America:
Bush Administration’s 2008 Budget Proposal Recognizes Importance of Scientific Innovation
WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 – The Optical Society of America (OSA) today praised the Bush Administration for including increases to key scientific programs in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 budget proposal. By investing in the physical sciences and engineering through the continuation of the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), the administration is ensuring scientific and technological advancements can be made and that America’s economic future will be more secure.
Specifically, the budget proposal includes increased funds for programs covered in the ACI, which was proposed in 2006 and calls for doubling funding for three scientific agencies (National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science and National Institute of Standards and Technology) over the next 10 years. This year, the budget calls for an additional $764 million for these agencies; if the House-passed continuing resolution for FY 2007 becomes law, this will mean a 7 percent increase over 2007 levels. Investments like these mean scientists can continue to conduct research and develop technologies that result in faster communications, life-saving devices and a more secure homeland.
Although the president’s recommendations include increases in funding for the Department of Defense (DOD), funding for basic research at the DOD is lower than expected, and it will be important for Congress to work to increase this amount so that advancements vital to national security can continue to be made.
“In a year where spending is being reduced and budgets are tight, we applaud President Bush’s Administration for recognizing the importance of ensuring that funds for scientific research and development are increased so the innovative research being done in our nation’s universities and laboratories can continue,” said OSA’s Executive Director Elizabeth Rogan. “We urge the U.S. Congress to support the president’s recommendations on R&D and bolster the amount for basic research at the DOD in order to send the message to the next generation of scientists that America values scientific research and recognizes the benefit to society their advancements provide.”
Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.