SESSION II: Federal Science Funding—What can be done this year?
House Committee on Science & Technology
Any realistic answer to the question of what can be done this year for federal science funding can not ignore either the politics of a big election year or the likelihood of another showdown between the President and the Congress over the top line budget number. The odds are high that Congress will end up enacting a continuing resolution (CR) based on FY 2008 funding levels to carry us through next February at least. Having said that, waiting for next year to speak up is not the answer either. The scientific community needs to maintain a steady drumbeat of advocacy in good times and in bad. While getting the ear of the Appropriators is critical, the community should expand their efforts to build relationships with Members broadly, in particular by reaching out to staff and Members in their home states and districts rather than relying on hurried and infrequent meetings in Washington. After spending a few minutes giving an overview of what happened in FY 2008 and what might happen in FY 2009, I will focus my talk on ways in which the scientific community could step up and improve its advocacy efforts over the long term.
Dahlia L. Sokolov is on the professional staff of the House Committee on Science and Technology. She is currently assigned to the Research and Science Education Subcommittee, with oversight of the National Science Foundation and science education programs across the federal R&D agencies. For two years prior to joining the Research Subcommittee, she served on the Energy Subcommittee with oversight of Department of Energy R&D programs. Dahlia joined the Science Committee staff as an American Institute of Physics (AIP) Congressional fellow in October 2004 and joined the professional staff in July 2005. Before beginning the AIP fellowship, she completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. Dahlia has a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Engineering Physics from U.C. Berkeley. Her graduate research field was acoustics in medicine. In the winter of 2001, she took leave from her graduate studies for a 12-week long internship at the National Academy of Sciences, with the Committee on Science Education K-12.