At a time when difficult choices are being made in the allocation of scarce budgetary resources, the nature and extent of the Nation's investment in science and technology are being re-examined. The President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is acutely aware of the budget realities and wishes to assist the President and the Congress in evaluating the options among which you must choose.
PCAST has an equally important responsibility to identify policy options that may pose threats to the long-term economic security, national security or quality of life of Americans. The current budget climate has produced such threats.
To provide an explicit common framework for PCAST when providing these views and in our individual dealings with colleagues and the public, we have drafted a set of "principles" which we respectfully submit for your consideration. This statement reflects our belief that science and technology are significant contributors to the quality of life for all Americans. To preserve this critical investment for the future, the Administration should continue stable funding for both basic and applied research and development and provide strong Federal support for research and education at universities, research institutions, and national laboratories. These principles are consistent with the Administration's policy statements, but also reflect the current debate driven both by fiscal stringencies and by differing views about Federal responsibility.
The resolution of current budget deliberations as well as the FY 1997 budget request will represent critical statements about the country's investment strategy as we seek to eliminate the deficit. We hope that our set of principles may help inform the creation of this investment strategy and stand ready to provide advice on any specific issues.
John A. Young
President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology
The Honorable Newt Gingrich
Speaker of the House of Representatives
The Honorable Thomas A. Daschle
Minority Leader, U.S. Senate