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Bit of a Boost

A bill introduced in the US House of Representatives seeks to boost the National Science Foundation budget by nearly $10 billion over five years, Science reports. It adds that the bulk of the additional funds would go toward a new NSF directorate focused on translating basic research into new technologies.

In particular, the bill proposed by House Science, Space, and Technology committee would increase NSF funding from $8.5 billion to $18.3 billion by 2026, and the budget for a new Science and Engineering Solutions directorate would begin at $1 billion in 2022 and reach $5 billion by 2026, according to Science. It notes that the bill is similar to one proposed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), though Schumer's bill focuses on economic and other threats from China and specific technologies like artificial intelligence.

"To fully realize the potential of science to benefit society, we must fund more research on the questions that matter to the American people," Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), the chair of the House science committee, says in a statement. "Our competitiveness with China and other nations drives much of the national discourse around innovation because our economic and national security depend on our leadership in science and technology. … [But] researchers and students are inspired by finding solutions, whether they be to scientific or societal challenges."