Researchers float idea of National Research Bank, a $100 billion endowment.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS—Researchers across the United States are well aware that times are tight. Despite a recent budget proposal from the Obama administration to increase spending on federal R&D by 7% next year, dollars flowing to research have largely been flat in recent years, and declining when inflation is taken into account. The long-term outlook is even worse. Growing federal commitments to Medicare, Medicaid, social security, and interest on the federal debt continue to chew up a greater proportion of the federal budget. The money for “discretionary” items that’s left over—including R&D—is expected to drop to 23% of the federal budget by 2040, down from 67% in 1970 and 36% in 2012. So it’s perhaps no surprise that basic researchers are beginning to look for new sources of support. (...) - Science, by Robert F. Service, 4 March 2015