The Trump administration has released a $4.7 trillion budget proposal for FY20 that includes many cuts for government science agencies. However, certain scientific endeavors are prioritized in the budget proposal, such as AI, quantum information science, wireless 5G communications and advanced manufacturing. For example, the proposal allocates $850 million for AI and $430 million for quantum science within multiple federal agencies. However, according to observers, the importance of research in general is not viewed as a priority, as the proposal allocates $134 billion in total federal R&D investments, an 11% decrease.

The budget request would lower the NIH’s budget by 13% to $34.4 billion. Within the NIH, a  new pediatric cancer project at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) would receive $50 million in funding for drug discovery, researching the biology of such cancers and creating shared resources from existing datasets. For this project, $500 million would be allocated over a 10-year period. However, experts worry about the heavy focus on data sharing in the project, believing that the initiative will be at the expense of other research for pediatric cancers, as the overall budget for the NCI would fall to $5.2 billion, a 15% decline.

The Trump administration has also requested to close the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, revamping it as a new Institute of the NIH called the National Institute for Research on Safety and Quality, with $256 million in funding. This request had been made in the past by the Trump administration as well, only to be rejected by Congress, as has the request to end the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy.

The NSF would receive a 12% drop in funding to $7.1 billion, while the DoE’s Office of Science funding would fall 17% to $5.5 billion. Also in the DoE, the budget for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would plummet 86% to $343 million. The proposal also calls for an almost 33% decline in the EPA’s budget to $6.1 billion, with only $440 million allocated to the Agency’s science programs, a 40% fall. Climate change science, part of the EPA’s air and energy research, would decline 66% to $32 million. Additionally, the NIST would also face a 30% decrease in its budget.

Although the proposal calls for a 15% decline for the USDA budget, including an 8% drop in funding for the Agricultural Research Service to $1.2 billion, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, which is the main competitive grants program at the USDA, would get a 20% increase to $500 million.

Most experts believe the science cuts in the proposal will not be approved  by Congress.

Source: Science

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