Advocating for Increased Investments in Scientific Research: Beverly Karplus Hartline


Advocating for Increased Investments in Scientific Research: Beverly Karplus Hartline

The administration’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget was released on Monday, requesting vital funding for scientific and engineering research. I am calling on Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines, as well as Reps. Ryan Zinke and Matt Rosendale, to back this critical aspect of the spending plan. These investments are made through various federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Agriculture, and the National Institutes of Health. They are crucial in advancing America’s national security, energy, biomedical, agricultural, environmental, and other needs, while also enhancing our international competitiveness.

As a retired scientist residing in Butte, I want to highlight that a significant portion of this research and development (R&D) funding benefits Montana universities, colleges, industries, and start-ups. In FY 2022 alone, more than $200 million was allocated to Montana. The Federal government has long been a major supporter of basic research, leading to discoveries that innovative Montanans translate into future technologies and successful businesses.

Economists estimate that up to 85% of America’s long-term economic growth is a result of innovation driven by scientific progress. In Montana, we see this reflected in the growth of companies in various sectors like optics, computing, medical diagnostics, agriculture, energy, and pharmaceuticals. These companies offer valuable internships and job opportunities for enthusiastic Montana students, contributing to the state’s economic development.

By endorsing robust federal science budgets, Montana’s congressional delegation can set the state and the nation on a path of continued economic growth. It is crucial to encourage them to support these federal science investments, as they yield significant long-term benefits and positively impact all Americans.

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