Computing Research Policy Blog

The Computing Research Association (CRA) has been involved in shaping public policy of relevance to computing research for more than two decades. More recently the CRA Government Affairs program has enhanced its efforts to help the members of the computing research community contribute to the public debate knowledgeably and effectively.

New NSB Report on S&E Workforce


The National Science Board has released a new report on the science and engineering workforce. From their release:


This important NSB policy report offers the Board’s findings and recommendations on long-term strategies for the workforce in five areas: undergraduate and advanced education in science and engineering; the knowledge base on the science and engineering workforce; the precollege teaching workforce for mathematics, science and technology; and US engagement in the international science and engineering workforce.

Link to the report.

Trends in DOD Basic Research Support


Elaine McCusker of the CNSR and Toby Smith of AAU passed on this interesting slide presentation detailing basic research funding at the Department of Defense by Bob Trew at NC State.
In it, Trew highlights concerns (concerns CRA shares) about “6.1” funding at DOD, primarily:

  • The 6.1 (basic research) budget at DOD continues to decline
  • 6.1 funding is being diverted to non-6.1 projects
  • the research is increasingly near-term; and
  • it’s too often a ready source of funding for “pet projects” in other areas.

Download the presentation (pdf – 779kb)

“This is going to be an austere budget”


President Bush will apparently ask for an increase of just 1 percent overall in non-defense, non-homeland security related discretionary spending for FY 2005. The Washington Times has the details.
Because some programs, like the Administration’s education initiatives, will be slated for increases over 1 percent, other programs will likely receive cuts. Whispers around DC suggest that NSF might suffer significantly under the request, receiving an increase of just 1 percent for FY 2005 — well under the 15 percent authorized by Congress and the President in December 2002. The full details should be known when the President releases his budget request on February 2, 2004.

Northwest Provides Customer Data to NASA


The Washington Post reports that Northwest Airlines provided millions of customer records to NASA shortly after 9/11 to “assist the government’s search for technology to improve aviation security.” The record transfer was revealed in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from EPIC relating to the government’s CAPPS II development efforts.
A similar revelation last year by jetBlue airline helped convince Congress that TIA-related research at DARPA posed too big a threat to American civil liberties to be allowed to continue. (CRN coverage.)

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