A Second Bill Filed to Reshape the National Science Foundation
(HPCWire) The House Science Committee recently introduced a bill – NSF Foundation for the Future Act – which would add a directorate focused more broadly on societal science issues and double NSF’s budget over the next five years. Last year the Senate introduced the Endless Frontier Act proposing an even larger budget bump, a stronger emphasis on technology development, and with greater emphasis on U.S. technology rivalry with China.
“America’s continued scientific leadership requires strategic investment in basic and fundamental research,” said Ranking Member Lucas. “This legislation prioritizes NSF funding for the industries of the future that will drive our continued economic growth, like quantum information sciences, artificial intelligence, supercomputing, cybersecurity, and advanced manufacturing. I appreciate Chairwoman Johnson for working with me to craft a bipartisan bill that addresses these objectives and also includes provisions on research security, which has been a growing concern for Republicans on our Committee. I look forward to working together through the legislative process to further refine our approach to American research.”
While last year’s preoccupation with the pandemic prevented much action on the Endless Frontier Act, it also spotlighted the role of science in solving pressing problems in modern society. Both bills were introduced with bipartisan support and backers of the latest bill acknowledged the earlier effort but suggested its budget goal (the new directorate of technology budget would grow to $35 billion over five years eclipsing the rest of NSF) was unrealistic and its focus on China and specific technologies was too narrow.