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Shovel-Ready Science Drives DOE Decisions

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Science  27 Nov 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5957, pp. 1177-1178
DOI: 10.1126/science.326.5957.1177

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While the Recovery Act was working its way through Congress, a handful of prominent physicists and science lobbyists compiled a list for Congress and the new Administration of all the "shovel-ready" research infrastructure projects at the Department of Energy (DOE)—those approved and ready to go out for bids. Congress used this list along with one compiled by DOE staff as a guide in deciding to give DOE's science programs $1.6 billion in the final bill. Another $400 million went to the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a new research entity housed within the office of the energy secretary. The use of the recovery money to speed up projects already in the agency's queue is expected to pay both scientific and fiscal dividends.