Federal R&D

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) each recently issued a report relating to federally funded research and development. The CBO report looks at federal support generally for R&D, while the GAO report analyzes the dissemination of research from three agencies.

According to the CBO report, in FY2007 $137 billion was budgeted for federal R&D, and tax preferences have provided incentives for R&D in the private sector. The report reviews trends in federal R&D support, assesses the government's role in R&D, evaluates the results of federal R&D funding, and looks at tax preferences for R&D.

In light of concerns that some researchers are being restricted from sharing their findings on controversial topics, the GAO report examines the policies for dissemination of research of three agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dissemination occurs through such avenues as publications, presentations, press releases, and media interviews, the latter two being more problematic. GAO recommends clarifying media policies, ensuring an appeals process for dissemination decisions, and providing training for those policies.

Federal Support for Research and Development (pdf, 42pp/824kB, from CBO), June 2007

FEDERAL RESEARCH: Policies Guiding the Dissemination of Scientific Research from Selected Agencies Should Be Clarified and Better Communicated, GAO-07-653 (pdf, 102pp/2.93MB, from GAO), May 17, 2007 (released June 18, 2007)

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