EDITORIAL

What Awaits the New NSF Director

Science  06 Dec 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6163, pp. 1145
DOI: 10.1126/science.1248875

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Summary

In the coming days, the United States Senate will consider the confirmation of Dr. France Córdova as director of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). If confirmed, Dr. Córdova will be the latest in a line of distinguished scientists to lead the nearly $7 billion agency, the most important source of funding for basic research outside of the biomedical sciences. Rather than turning over with the election of a new president, the NSF director is appointed to a 6-year term. During the roughly 2000 days that Córdova will have at the helm, she will need to deal with many forces that threaten the nation's ability to innovate. One major impediment is the continuing threat of mandatory budget cuts from sequestration, whose impact this year included fewer grants awarded and delays to many research projects.

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