Tabulating the FS&T Budget

The FS&T budget has been defined by the Academies as federal R&D spending that creates new knowledge and enabling technologies. As a practical matter, FS&T has been calculated by taking as FS&T the R&D budget for most federal agencies. The Department of Defense has more precisely identified that part of its Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) that is explicitly an investment in science and technology, so the Academies method has included for DOD its spending on basic research (6.1), applied research (6.2), and advanced technology (6.3). The Academies method for calculating FS&T has excluded R&D in programs that clearly involve testing, evaluation, or other activities not primarily devoted to the creation of new knowledge or technologies: the Demonstration and Validation (6.4), Engineering and Manufacturing Development (6.5), RDT&E Management Support (6.6), and Operational Systems Development (6.7) programs in the Department of Defense (DOD) budget, as well as the Naval Reactor Program in the Department of Energy (DOE).

The National Academies’ Committee on Science Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) has issued three annual reports providing observations on the Administration’s proposed FS&T spending in fiscal years 1999, 2000, and 2001. These reports have provided the Administration, Congressional appropriators, and the science policy community with data on that part of the R&D budget that focuses on science and technology. During that same period, the Clinton Administration moved toward the FS&T concept by identifying, in addition to the R&D budget, the federal investment in an array of major science and technology programs. In its first iteration in fiscal year 1999, this crosscut was presented as the Research Fund for America (RFFA), which focused exclusively on civilian research programs. Over the next two budget cycles, this crosscut was renamed the 21st Century Research Fund and expanded to include basic research (6.1) and applied research (6.2) in the Defense budget.

The new Administration’s fiscal year 2002 budget proposal represents an important opportunity for institutionalizing an annual, concerted focus on the nation’s plans for investing in science and technology. In its budget proposal, the Bush Administration has continued the practice of including a science and technology crosscut in its budget proposal, modifying the 21st Century Research Fund further and renaming it the “Federal Science and Technology Budget.” In doing so, moreover, the Bush Administration cited the recommendation in Allocating Federal Funds for highlighting “more consistently and accurately activities central to the creation of new knowledge and technologies” as the justification for including the FS&T budget in its budget proposal.10

Figure 1 and Table 1 compare the National Academies’ tabulation of the FS&T Budget ($59.5 billion) with both the Administration’s method of tabulating FS&T ($49.7 billion) and the traditional R&D spending crosscut ($96.5 billion) in the President’s FY 2002 budget proposal. As the figure and table show, the Administration’s FS&T budget tabulation differs from the Academies’ FS&T tabulation by about $10 billion. The inclusion in the National Academies’ FS&T budget of the DOD advanced technology (6.3) budget ($4.1 billion), the DOE Atomic Weapons Activities ($2.9 billion), and NASA Human Space Flight R&D ($2.8 billion) accounts


U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the U.S. Government, FY 2002: Analytical Perspectives (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2001), p. 135.

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