U.S. Nobel winners address funding

April 10, 2013 at 4:16 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- A group of U.S. Nobel laureates is urging Congress to preserve federal funding of long-term scientific research for the 2014 fiscal year budget.

In a letter to Congress released by the Federation of American Scientists, Burton Richter, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in physics, and 57 other Nobel winners warn budget cuts and sequestration puts the United States at risk of falling behind other countries in the development of science and technology.

"The entire federal research, development and demonstration enterprise amounts today to about one percent of our Gross Domestic Product and has steadily fallen over the years, while our rivals in Europe and Asia invest more," the letter said.

Long-term scientific funding for future generations is vitally important, Richter said in the letter.

"We Nobel Laureates are likely to do well in competition for a reduced level of funding," he wrote. "Our concern is for the younger generation who will be behind the innovations and earn the Prizes of the future."

FAS President Charles D. Ferguson joined in the call for maintaining federal funding in support of research.

"The United States has far surpassed other nations in Nobel Prize winners in the sciences," he said in an FAS release Wednesday. "The ability to foster such talent will be undermined with continued erosion of federal support."

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