The Biden administration is requesting a 6% budget increase for the Department of Energy Office of Science, even as the office shoulders an increasing cost burden from its construction portfolio and expands its work on special initiatives.
The House Science Committee has introduced a bipartisan bill that recommends Congress ramp up funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science from $7 billion to nearly $11 billion over the next five years. It also updates policy guidance for the office’s research programs and sets funding targets for its major facility projects.
Funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science is increasing marginally in fiscal year 2021. Most of its component programs will receive steady funding, though office-wide initiatives in quantum information science and artificial intelligence are receiving substantial boosts, and work is ramping up on the proposed Electron Ion Collider and Cosmic Microwave Background-S4 projects.
FYI spoke with Department of Energy Office of Science Director Chris Fall about a range of issues bearing on the national lab system, including a new “Labs of the Future” thought exercise, pandemic recovery, diversity initiatives, and research security.
The Department of Energy has set up a single point of contact for gaining access to COVID-19 experts and research tools across its national laboratories. Chris Fall, director of the DOE Office of Science, described the goals of the new “virtual lab” in an interview with Physics Today.
The Department of Energy has selected Brookhaven National Laboratory as the site for its proposed Electron-Ion Collider, a flagship nuclear science facility that is estimated to cost between $1.6 billion and $2.6 billion.
The budget for the Department of Energy Office of Science is increasing 6% this year to an even $7 billion. The increase is spread across the office’s six programs, with Fusion Energy Sciences receiving a particularly large boost.
The House and Senate have both proposed spending increases for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. New and ongoing facilities and equipment projects are set to receive the budgets they need to progress apace, while emerging priorities such as quantum information science and high-performance computing are in line for funding boosts.