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Deborah Stine | Mar, 20 2017

 

Budget cut science policy?

Greetings,
       Someone just sent me this article:
 
In the face of massive federal budget cuts, scientists are bracing for a lost generation in American research.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/trump-budget-cuts-science/519825/
 
which lead me to wonder – is it possible to measure the impact of a lost generation?  Certainly it has occurred in the past, but how would you measure it?
 
…just wondering…

Debbie
 

Deborah D. Stine, PhD

Professor of the Practice, Engineering and Public Policy Department 

Associate Director for Policy Outreach, Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

 

Carnegie Mellon University
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From: Science of Science Policy Listserv <SCISIP@LISTSERV.NSF.GOV> on behalf of Kay Sullivan <kay.u.sullivan.civ@MAIL.MIL>
Reply-To: Kay Sullivan <kay.u.sullivan.civ@MAIL.MIL>
Date: Monday, March 20, 2017 at 11:55 AM
To: Science of Science Policy Listserv <SCISIP@LISTSERV.NSF.GOV>
Subject: Re: [scisip] [Non-DoD Source] Re: [scisip] Budget cut science policy? (UNCLASSIFIED)

 

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED
 
It's fairly easy to actually run the numbers based on the details in DoE's public budget documents.
In this table, I took the Office of Science budget lines from the DoE's 2017 Statistical Tables (https://energy.gov/cfo/downloads/fy-2017-budget-justification).
I assumed the 2017 CR amounts equaled the 2016 Enacted amounts, which may not be exactly correct, but it was easier than looking up the CR tables.
Then I added some formulas that let me cut various programs and showed the resulting total cut and total 2018 budget for the Office of Science.

In this example, I maintained Advanced scientific computing, Basic Energy Sciences, Laboratory infrastructure support and construction, and Safeguards and security at 100%; eliminated Biological and environmental research and Workforce
development for teachers and scientists; and shaved the remaining programs by 18%. This nets me a little more than the $963M called for in the budget outline.
 
Not saying I agree with these cuts. I'm just noting that it is an interesting and entirely doable exercise to see what it would take to cut the DoE Office of Science by 18%. I wouldn’t be surprised if various media outlets publish apps
to do this very thing in the near future (as they did when sequestration first became an issue).
 
[View as HTML for best results]
 

Line Item

2016 Enacted

2017 Request

2017 CR

2018 Request

2018 carryover %

2018-CR

Advanced scientific computing research

0.621

0.663

0.621

0.621

100%

0.000

Basic Energy Sciences

1.849

1.937

1.849

1.849

100%

0.000

Biological and environmental research

0.609

0.662

0.609

0.000

0%

0.609

Fusion energy sciences

0.438

0.398

0.438

0.359

82%

0.079

High energy physics

0.795

0.818

0.795

0.652

82%

0.143

Nuclear physics

0.617

0.636

0.617

0.506

82%

0.111

Workforce development for teachers and scientists

0.020

0.021

0.020

0.000

0%

0.020

Science laboratory infrastructure support

0.045

0.067

0.045

0.045

100%

0.000

Science laboratory construction

0.069

0.063

0.069

0.069

100%

0.000

Safeguards and security

0.103

0.103

0.103

0.103

100%

0.000

Science Program direction

0.185

0.204

0.185

0.152

82%

0.033

Total

5.350

5.572

5.350

4.355

 

0.995

Targets

 

 

 

4.387

18%

0.963

 
 
-Kay
 
Kay Sullivan, PhD
OSD Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation
703.692.8041
kay.u.sullivan.civ@mail.mil
kay.u.sullivan.civ@mail.smil.mil
kay.sullivan@osdj.ic.gov
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Science of Science Policy Listserv [mailto:SCISIP@LISTSERV.NSF.GOV] On Behalf Of David Wojick
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017 7:31 AM
To: SCISIP@LISTSERV.NSF.GOV
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [scisip] Budget cut science policy?
 
Very interesting, Glenn. This is a tipping point model of sorts. These numbers may well be too big to achieve by simply shaving programs. To touch on an earlier discussion, might DOE have to zero its entire fusion program, or close the
Energy Hubs or a National Lab? Is EPA supposed to shut down the entire Research Triangle complex?

 
These tipping points create a lot more visibility than spread out smaller cuts, which in turn might generate local opposition from Congressional constituencies. I am reminded of the military base closure controversies awhile back.
 
This is the kind of analysis that I am looking for.
 
David
 
On Mar 19, 2017, at 4:01 PM, Glenn Hampson <ghampson@NATIONALSCIENCE.ORG> wrote:
 
> Thanks David. So---tying this back to the point then about acquiescence vs. activism---at what point can (or should) an agency head simply reply "sorry--does not compute?" A 10% cut drill is one exercise---and it can be a useful one
for examining internal processes. But an 18% or 31% cut drill isn't so much a drill as a reorg. At this point, agency officials face not only budget decisions but moral, ethical and legal ones about whether they can continue to serve the public in the capacity
that Congress has required through statute, or whether attempting to do so would be impossible without fundamentally restructuring their mandate. The same question is true for agency staff (those who remain anyway)---whether it's even possible for them to
continue to uphold their obligations to the public within a gutted agency. So where do you draw the line between simply planning for budget cuts, and fundamentally redesigning an agency and its goals to fit the available budget? The former is a fact of life
in federal service; the latter is something we cannot (and should not) do without questioning why.
>
>
> Glenn Hampson
> Executive Director
> National Science Communication Institute (nSCI) Program Director Open

> Scholarship Initiative (OSI)
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Science of Science Policy Listserv
> [mailto:SCISIP@LISTSERV.NSF.GOV] On Behalf Of David Wojick
> Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:35 PM
> To: SCISIP@LISTSERV.NSF.GOV
> Subject: Re: [scisip] Budget cut science policy?
>
> Indeed, Glenn. In fact OMB routinely runs 10% cut drills as part of the annual agency request process. An agency seldom gets everything it asks for. Admittedly this is an extreme case, which makes it analytically challenging.
>
> David
>
> At 03:23 PM 3/19/2017, Glenn Hampson wrote:
>> Point well taken David---sorry. So, if I'm hearing you correctly,

>> agencies are already being asked to develop plans to make these cuts