Notable Words: S&T Policy Quotations from 2003

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Publication date: 
8 January 2004

"Where have the Americans gone?"- DOE Office of Science Director Ray Orbach discussing declining number of American university students studying physical sciences.

"Even though it will be years before fusion energy can be used to generate electric power, the eventual payoff of a large new supply of clean energy is too great to ignore." - Five Representatives in a letter to Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham

"President Bush has faith in American science. And he knows the huge energy challenges...for the United States and for the world...that fusion science seeks to tackle. And let me tell you, he is not one for taking baby steps when leaps are called for." - Energy Secretary Abraham on US announcement to rejoin ITER negotiations

"Our objective is to fund to 3% of our Defense budget for science and technology." - Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) Dov Zakheim when describing FY 2004 defense S&T budget request which was 2.68%

"The concern expressed for the physical sciences in the budget reminds me a little bit of the old joke about the will that said, 'To Joe, who I said I would mention in my will, "Hello Joe.'" Sympathy won't fund labs." - House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) when discussing FY 2004 budget request

"Mr. Chairman [Boehlert], this is a good budget for science." - OSTP Director John Marburger

"Under the President's request, many programs would receive less funding in FY 2004 than in FY 2003. . . . It seems a mistake then to stay wedded to the President's numbers. More than a mistake, it might be irresponsible." - Statement by House Science Committee Democrats

"The decline in funding for the physical sciences has put our Nation's capabilities for scientific innovation at risk." - Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO) at NSF budget hearing

"Everything you do needs to be a short fuse...not [as] an R&D problem for the sake of doing R&D...we are looking to you for solutions...we want them fast." - House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) to Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary for S&T Charles McQueary

"Our enthusiasm was more than just rhetoric." - Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) at NSF budget hearing, commenting on the passage of the NSF authorization act and previous funding increase.

"You've got to ask for more money." - Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) to NSF Director Rita Colwell at budget hearing

"We do know the emission of greenhouse gases is not healthy for the environment. As many of the top scientists throughout the world have stated, the sooner we start to reduce these emissions, the better off we will be in the future." - Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ)

"We've got quite an educational process to do." - Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) speaking in support of climate change legislation

"It is imperative that in this race, the U.S. must be first across the finish line." - Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) advocating for nanotechnology research authorization bill

"This is the only technology we know of that can change the game." - DOE Assistant Secretary David Garman at a hearing on hydrogen energy research

"I think the NIH investment is almost sacred for a very understandable reason. Most people look at the investment we are making in NIH and don't give it a second thought - 'Aye' they vote. Because they look at people with a whole host of problems that research is addressing at NIH and say, 'there but for the grace of God go I.'" - Chairman Boehlert

"Really, you know, a lot of the budget is often determined by having a few key players who are your vocal advocates, rather than winning over 435 Members. You just need to make sure that you don't have any opponents among the other 400...if you've got an advocate." - Senior House Science Committee staffer discussing why DOE science funding has not increased

"'You can't have that kind of war. There just aren't enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the streets.'" - President Dwight Eisenhower, as quoted by Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) during House floor debate on proposed research funding for new classes of nuclear weapons

"Our potential enemies are burrowing in. They are putting their command and control centers, the people with their fingers on the trigger, in hard and deeply buried bunkers. For deterrence to work, we have to hold at risk those things which our potential enemies value and that means holding hard and deeply buried targets at risk." - Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) during House debate on new nuclear weapons funding

"This is a big vote. This is the vote that opens the door. How we can repeal [current legislative] language that says to all the world the United States is not in the nuclear development business, I do not know, but I find it absolutely chilling and even diabolical, particularly when we preach to other nations." - Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on new nuclear weapons funding

"We have a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all Americans. We should not place artificial limits on the intellectual work of our gifted scientists to explore new technologies, to understand what is possible as well as what potential adversaries could be exploring." - Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-VA) on new nuclear weapons funding

"Shrinking investment in the physical sciences and engineering poses serious risks to DOE's ability to perform its mission." - Senate Appropriations Committee report

"There needs to be a serious debate about whether the approximately $6 billion spent annually on DOE's nuclear weapons complex is a sound national security investment." - House Appropriations Committee report

"Anything is possible." - Commerce Deputy Secretary Sam Bodman on possibility of Kyoto-type caps on greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the Administration's climate change research program

"ITER is more than just fusion energy sciences; it may well be the path forward for all of large-scale truly international science collaborations. So we have a lot at stake in this process." - Director Ray Orbach

"The nation must have a balanced investment to maintain the overall health of science and technology research.... Recent increases in NIH and NSF cannot compensate for the declines in funding at federal agencies such as the Department of Energy." - Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

"The opportunities in high energy physics have increased, not diminished, in importance during the past decade. But at the same time the opportunities in these other very attractive fields of science are also increasing, and very rapidly. What this suggests to me is that federal budgets for high energy physics are not very likely to grow substantially faster than in the past." - OSTP Director John Marburger

"The foam did it." - Admiral Harold Gehman, Chair of Columbia Accident Investigation Board

"We have a lot riding on you." - Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) to Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary for S&T McQueary

"The importance of DOE science and facilities to our national, economic and energy security are not well understood by the American public, Congress, or the Executive Branch." - Final Report of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board's Task Force on the Future of Science Programs at DOE

"The whole point of leaving home is, after all, to go somewhere, not to endlessly circle the block." - Wesley Huntress, Carnegie Institution at hearing on NASA human space flight program

"Budget drives everything that we do." - DOE Associate Director of Science Patricia Dehmer

"The calendar is not going to drive this." - NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe on the use of the space shuttle

"So I am here today to release a 20-year roadmap for future scientific facilities. These facilities and upgrades to our current inventory will revolutionize science...and society. They are needed to extend the frontiers of science, to pursue opportunities of enormous importance, and to maintain U.S. science primacy in the world." - Energy Secretary Abraham on release of DOE science facilities plan

"It will be up to Congress and the Administration to determine how much to spend on science and on new scientific facilities and to balance them against other national priorities." - Secretary Abraham on DOE science facilities plan, explaining that it was not a budget document

"I believe the science we have seen does not support the need to engage in questionable policies to control so-called 'global warming.' We need more evidence that the climate is actually affected by emissions, especially carbon emissions, before we act too quickly...." - Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)

"There are those who say that climate change is a hoax, a concoction of radical environmentalists and a liberal media. That is simply hogwash . . . . To ignore and dismiss the threat of climate change to the economy and the environment is like insisting the earth is flat." - Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT)

"I would like to caution you about the use of the word 'balance.'" - OSTP Assistant Director for Physical Sciences and Engineering Patrick Looney at a DOE advisory committee meeting, regarding federal research funding allocations. Looney later called it a "red-hot word" that was "divisive."

"Nobody knows that DOE does science." - William Martin, former DOE deputy director at meeting of Secretary of Energy Advisory Board

"I used to long for the call that I had been named to the Appropriations Committee. I am not sure I would take that same call today. . . . Because they've got a God-awful job." - Chairman Boehlert