In DepthU.S. Science Policy

Bill would supersize NSF's budget—and role

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Science  05 Jun 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6495, pp. 1045
DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6495.1045

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Summary

The National Science Foundation (NSF) would get a huge infusion of cash, as well as a new name and new responsibilities for keeping the United States on top in technological innovation, under bipartisan bills introduced late last month in both houses of Congress. The Endless Frontier Act (S. 3832 and H.R. 6978) would create a technology directorate at NSF with a budget that could grow to $35 billion by 2024—more than four times the agency's existing $8 billion budget. That would bring NSF to rough parity with the National Institutes of Health, whose $41 billion budget makes it by far the government's biggest funder of basic research. But some science policy veterans are questioning whether a basic research agency should also be expected to spearhead the development of new technologies.

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