Over at Nature's News blog, Eugenie Samuel Reich reports on discussions over "a third big push … [in] federal investment in research universities" at a recent meeting of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in Washington, DC. At that meeting, a National Academies panel that is studying the future of American research universities — the group that authored the 2005 "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" report that called on Congress to double science research — sought feedback as to whether it should recommend an overhaul of research universities in the US. At the meeting, the panel's Charles Holliday expressed that his group "feels universities could be more efficient at translating basic research into marketable products," Reich says, adding that the group is now "looking at ways to do that without infringing on the quality of research environments and academic freedom." Harvard University's Venkatesh Narayanamurti "also called for creative thinking on academic-industry partnership," Reich adds.
In a comment to this post, David Martin says that while the US "did invest heavily in university infrastructure during the 1930s," with the current funding climate "it looks as though Congress won't invest in much of anything during the next decade."