Defeating terrorism and “protecting the homeland” continue to be the focus of the federal budget in fiscal year 2004, with Congress essentially approving a Bush administration budget that is heavily weighted toward defense and security. While the budget includes $127 billion in research and development funding—a $10 billion increase over last year and a record for federal R&D spending—it doesn’t change the stagnant state of government funding for much of civilian science.

About 93% of the federal R&D funding increase is going to only three agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Institutes of Health. And of that 93%, some 80% is going to the DOD, primarily to fund the development of new weapons systems. The NIH increase is mainly for biodefense research.

There is a caveat to the budget numbers, however; Congress has failed for the second year in a row to complete...

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