Shovel-Ready Science?

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Science  27 Mar 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5922, pp. 1646
DOI: 10.1126/science.1173327

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It is gratifying to see the funding for scientific research in the U.S. economic stimulus package, a critical short-term investment which must be spent over 2 years. Yet at the risk of sounding ungrateful and skeptical, it is worth sounding a note of caution. Transformative change requires long-term investment in the nation's intellectual infrastructure. "Shovel-ready" makes sense for getting people to work on deferred infrastructure needs, but how does it relate to the scientific research and education programs needed to address the many challenges looming before us?