In an April 27 speech at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., President Obama presented a vision of a new era in research financing comparable to the Sputnik-period space race, in which intensified scientific inquiry is a top national priority, reports the New York Times. The president laid out an ambitious plan to invigorate the country’s pipeline for innovation, from grade-school classrooms to corporate, government, and academic research laboratories. Obama’s plan includes fulfilling commitments dating from the Bush administration to double the budgets of the National Science Foundation, the science office of the Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. But he’s also seeking increases in direct federal investment in medical and energy research, and he would make permanent what has been a sporadic research and experimentation tax credit offered to companies that push beyond the quest for quarterly profits to pursue breakthroughs. Overall, he described his initiative as "the largest commitment to scientific research and innovation in American history," receiving hearty applause from scientists and observers…

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