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Posted at 11:56 AM ET, 02/14/2011

Budget 2012: National Science Foundation

By Brian Vastag

The National Science Foundation emerges as one of the few winners in the president's budget, with the nation's primary funder of non-medical basic research receiving $7.8 billion -- a 13 percent boost over 2010 funding.

In contrast, House Republicans have targeted the NSF for cuts, proposing a 16 percent reduction in the agency's 2011 budget compared with 2010 levels.

Under the president's proposal, renewable energy, wireless communications, next-generation computer processors and robotics research would all receive a boost. Climate monitoring is also a priority, with $88 million proposed for a national network of observation stations to monitor the effects of climate change.

The proposal would also provide $40 million for the training of elementary, high school and college science and math teachers.

The budget positions basic scientific research and technology development as key drivers of economic growth, a point that NSF-watchers also make. "The last thing you want to do when the economy is recovering is cut science funding," said Alan Leshner, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Budget 2012 analysis: Full list of agencies

By Brian Vastag  | February 14, 2011; 11:56 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, The Agencies, The Budget  | Tags:  2012 budget, federal science budget, math teacher training budget, national science foundation budget, obama budget, obama science budget, science teacher training money  
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