April 14, 2003

Nobel Laureates and industry leaders petition President to save US science and technology

Washington, D.C. - April 14, 2003 - Thirty-two Nobel Laureates and industry leaders wrote to President George W. Bush today to urge increasing funding for physical sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, computer science and engineering. The letter, reinforcing a recent Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report, highlights funding problems that "unless remedied, will affect our scientific and technological leadership, thereby affecting our economy and national security."

The letter also indicates that "the growth in expert personnel abroad, combined with the diminishing numbers of Americans entering the physical sciences, mathematics and engineering – an unhealthy trend – is leading corporations to locate more of their R&D activities outside the United States."

Noting that NSF funding is only a small fraction of support for these fields, the co-signatories call for "a Presidential initiative for FY 2005, following on from your budget of FY 2004, and focusing on the long-term research portfolios of DOE, NASA, and the Department of Commerce, in addition to NSF and NIH," that, "would turn around a decade-long decline that endangers the future of our nation."

Co-signatories to the letter coordinated their statement through the American Physical Society and the National Association of Manufacturers.



April 14, 2003

The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

This letter is prompted by the beginning of preparations for the FY 2005 budget, and the release, on October 16, 2002, of the report by your Council of Advisers on Science and Technology, "Assessing the U.S. R&D Investment." That report noted serious problems in the physical sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, computer science and engineering that, unless remedied, will affect our scientific and technologic al leadership, thereby affecting our economy and national security. You began addressing these challenges in your FY 2004 budget submission, and more will need to be done to reverse the decline of the 1990s. From our perspectives in industry, academia and national laboratories, the PCAST report accurately stated, "

[T]he lack of funding in thesedisciplines is cause for concern for a number of reasons: Both full-time graduate and Ph.D. students in most physical sciences, math and engineering are decreasing.Facilities and infrastructure in general for the physical sciences are becoming less than adequate for the needs of today's research problems. It is widely understood and acknowledged that the interdependence of the various disciplines requires that all advance together" (p. 5).

We note, further, that the growth in expert personnel abroad, combined with the diminishing numbers of Americans entering the physical sciences, mathematics and engineering an unhealthy trend is leading corporations to locate more of their R&D activities outside the United States.

We applaud your support for research as demonstrated by your administration's recently completed doubling of the NIH bio-medical research budget, and your signing of the bill authorizing major increases in the NSF budget. However, it is not widely recognized that NSF supports only a small portion of long-term research in the physical sciences, mathematics and engineering. A Presidential initiative for FY 2005, following on from your budget of FY 2004, and focusing on the long-term research portfolios of DOE, NASA, and the Department of Commerce, in addition to NSF and NIH, would turn around a decade-long decline that endangers the future of our nation.

Dr. Marburger and Mr. Kvamme put it succinctly in their letter accompanying the PCAST report: "the report suggests targeting the physical sciences and certain engineering fields ... for budgetary reallocation given their importance to our nation's economic well-being and competitiveness in order to better balance the available budget dollars." We concur, and hope that even in these times of budgetary stress you can, through a Presidential initiative in the FY 2005 budget, expand on what you have begun to increase the nation's investment in future strength.

Respectfully,

Burton Richter
Physics Nobel Laureate
Director Emeritus
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Craig Barett
Chief Executive Officer
Intel Corporation

Phillip Anderson
Physics Nobel Laureate
Professor of Physics
Princeton University

Ned Barnholt
President and Chief Executive Officer
Agilent Technologies

Nicholaas Bloembergen
Physics Nobel Laureate
Gerhard Gade University Professor, Emeritus
Harvard University and Optical Sciences Center
University of Arizona

Linden Blue
Vice Chairman
General Atomics

John F. Cassidy
Senior Vice President for Science and Technology
United Technologies Corp

Steven Chu
Physics Nobel Laureate
Theodore and Francis Geballe Professor in the Humanities and Sciences
Stanford University

Stuart D. Doyle
Senior Vice President
EDS General Motors

Jerome I. Friedman
Physics Nobel Laureate
Institute Professor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jerome J. Gaspar
Senior Vice President
Engineering & Technology
Rockwell Collins

Ivar Giaever
Physics Nobel Laureate
Institute Professor
Schools of Science and Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Sheldon Lee Glashow
Physics Nobel Laureate
University Professor & Metcalf Professor of Physics
Boston University

Raymond G. Hemann
President and Chief Executive Officer
Advanced Systems Research, Inc.

William D. Hill
Vice-President Engineering and Technology,
Corporate Officer
The Stanley Works

Russell A. Hulse
Physics Nobel Laureate
Principal Research Physicist
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Dick Lampman
Director
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories

Joseph J. Miller, Jr.
Executive Vice President and Chief
Technology Officer
Corning Incorporated

Craig J. Mundie
Senior Vice President & Chief Technical Officer
Microsoft Corporation

Richard Pearson
President
National Center for Manufacturing Sciences

Martin L. Perl
Physics Nobel Laureate
Professor of Physics
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Robert Richardson
Physics Nobel Laureate
Vice-Provost for Research
Cornell University

Robert N. Schmidt
President, Cleveland Medical Devices Inc.

William T. Siegle
Senior Vice President, Technology Operations and Chief Scientist
Advanced Micro Devices

Russ Shade
Chief Executive Officer
High Voltage Engineering Corporation

Horst Stormer
Physics Nobel Laureate
Professor of Physics and Applied Physics
Columbia University

Richard Taylor
Physics Nobel Laureate
Professor
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Charles H. Townes
Physics Nobel Laureate
Professor of Physics
University of California at Berkeley

John J. Tracy
Vice President
Boeing Phantom Works

Daniel C. Tsui
Physics Nobel Laureate
Professor of Electrical Engineering
Princeton University

Kenneth Wilson
Physics Nobel Laureate
Professor of Physics
The Ohio State University

Robert W. Wilson
Physics Nobel Laureate
Senior Scientist
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

CC:
The Honorable Spencer Abraham, Secretary of the Department of Energy
The Honorable Rita Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation
Mr. Cesar Conda, Domestic Policy Adviser, Office of the Vice President
The Honorable Mitchell Daniels, Director of the Office of Management and Budget
The Honorable Don Evans, Secretary of the Department of Commerce
Mr. Floyd Kvamme, Co-Chairman of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology
and Chairman of Empower America
The Honorable John Marburger III, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
Mr. Dean McGrath, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice President
The Honorable Sean O'Keefe, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Mr. Marcus Peacock, Assocate Director for Natural Resource Programs, Office of Management and Budget
The Honorable Elias Zerhouni, Director of the National Institutes of Health
The Honorable Judy Biggert
The Honorable Jeff Bingaman
The Honorable Sherwood Boehlert
The Honorable Christopher Bond
The Honorable John Breaux
The Honorable Sam Brownback
The Honorable Robert Byrd
The Honorable John Dingell
The Honorable Pete Domenici
The Honorable Vernon Ehlers
The Honorable Ralph Hall
The Honorable David Hobson
The Honorable Ernest Hollings
The Honorable Rush Holt
The Honorable Nicholas Lampson
The Honorable John McCain
The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
The Honorable Alan Mollohan
The Honorable David Obey
The Honorable Ted Stevens
The Honorable W.J. Tauzin
The Honorable Peter Visclosky
The Honorable James Walsh
The Honorable C.W. Bill Young

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