Last week, in his 2022 budget request, President Joe Biden went big and bold on science. His proposed $118 billion bump in civilian discretionary spending would fund healthy boosts at many federal research agencies, including 20% hikes at the two largest: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to $51 billion, and the National Science Foundation (NSF), to $10.2 billion. Biden is also asking Congress to expand their missions, creating units based on the military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that would build on their basic research portfolios to address pressing societal problems. NIH would get $6.5 billion to stand up an Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health initially focused on cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. NSF would get a new technology directorate, of an unspecified size, that would lead the nation’s efforts to outinnovate China. Biden also wants to create an Advanced Research Projects Agency-Climate to take more aggressive steps against global warming, although he didn’t say where it would be housed.
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