November 4, 1998
Dear Mr. President:
Your vision for the future of America rests on a strong foundation ofinvestments in science, technology, and education. The FY 2000 budgetprovides an important opportunity to expand your legacy of vigorous nationalcommitment that will keep the United States at the leading edge of discoveryacross all frontiers of knowledge and innovation. We urge you tobe bold in your FY 2000 budget requests and to support strongly a broadscience and technology (S&T) portfolio.
At our September PCAST meeting, Reps. Ehlers and Brown and SenatorsFrist and Rockefeller briefed us about their efforts in the Congress tostrengthen support for S&T. Their initiatives, as evidenced inthe House of Representatives science policy study and S 2217, are generallysupportive of your principles of substantial investment in S&T andecho the theme of maintaining balance in the research portfolio. Sustained investment in all fields allows us to exploit their interdependenceand growing interdisciplinary cooperation. As budgets grow for the criticallyimportant and broadly admired biomedical research programs sponsored bythe National Institutes of Health, for example, it will be important tomake comparable investments in the other agencies' basic and applied researchprograms.
Federal investments in S&T are essential to the creation of new,well paying jobs; our competitiveness in the global economy; our nationalsecurity; protection of the environment; and our health. The Councilon Competitiveness report, Going Global: the New Shape of American Innovation,released last month emphasizes, in fact, that there is no room for complacencyabout the United States' current economic strength and technological leadership.
As you shape your FY 2000 budget request, we advise you to continueto focus Federal resources on strengthening the United States' researchcapacity through an approach such as the "Twenty-first Century ResearchFund," which identifies important civilian research programs. Further,we recommend that this concept be broadened to encompass the basic researchprograms of the Department of Defense, since it is a major sponsor of researchin the critical fields of mathematics, computing, complex systems, andengineering.
We are aware that the budget caps place tight constraints on the resourcesavailable for the FY 2000 budget. We urge you, nonetheless, to reaffirmthe centrality and importance of S&T through strong and balanced investmentincreases in your budget. A firm commitment to FY 2000 R&Dbudget support will position the United States for even greater successin the 21st century.
John A. Young, Co-Chair
Neal Lane, Co-Chair
President's Committee of Advisors
on Science and Technology
1600 Pennsylvania Ave,N.W
Washington, DC 20502
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