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Ryan's Science Funding Report Card

After 14 years in Congress, vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has a mixed record when it comes to science research funding, concludes ScienceInsider.

A review of Ryan's history indicates that he has "expressed strong support for government funding of basic science," yet is lukewarm when it comes to nonmilitary applied research, particularly energy technology. And his opposition to human embryonic stem cell research and his doubts related to climate change science have not made him too many fans in the scientific community.

Furthermore, as others have also concluded, Ryan's 10-year budget roadmap "would substantially slow future spending on fundamental studies."

ScienceInsider adds that President Obama's budget would increase total science spending by about 2 percent per year, to $35.7 billion by 2022, while Ryan's would increase spending by about 1.3 percent per year to $33.2 billion. "In addition, the two sides project different spending curves, with Obama forecasting at least some increase in the account every year, while Ryan's budget calls for a 4 percent spending cut in 2013 before restoring modest increases in 2014 and beyond."

It's worth noting, however, that Ryan's views on science and technology issues "aren't likely to play a significant role in November's election," ScienceInsider acknowledges. Furthermore, even if he were elected alongside Romney, "it's unclear how much interest he'd take in using the vice presidential office to weigh in on issues such as research funding or technology policy."

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