Where Does the Money Go?

A recent issue of Scientific American published a breakdown of federal R&D spending in the US. There were not too many surprises regarding the government’s priorities with 50% of funding going toward defense and 25% going toward health and human services (the vast majority of that being eaten up by the NIH and tiny fractions going to the CDC and the FDA). What did surprise me is that only 1% of the federal budget is allocated to Homeland Security, although I’m not entirely clear on the difference between that and Defense. Below is a breakdown of where the money goes:

Adapted from M. Fischetti. 2011. Money for Science. Scientific American (Jan 2011).

The article further broke down funding for the sciences by discipline and I’m happy to report that I seem to have chosen the appropriate discipline with over half of all funding going toward the Life Sciences. Yay! I’m surprised to see funding for Environmental Sciences so low though. I wonder what the breakdown would look like if it was taken even further to see what projects get the money within the Life Sciences. My guess: cancer and HIV.

Adapted from M. Fischetti. 2011. Money for Science. Scientific American (Jan 2011).

Now all we have to do is figure out how to get our hands on some of this money!!

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2 Responses to Where Does the Money Go?

  1. Dr.Clank says:

    “…to Homeland Security, although I’m not entirely clear on the difference between that and Defense.”

    Defense budgets aren’t really for defense, they’re for offense. If all those aircraft carriers and tanks and bombers and stuff were for defense they’d be in America or on America’s borders but they’re not; they’re in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Korean peninsula, etc, blowing shit up and killing people that are far away from America. So whereas the Defense budget is really for Offense, the Homeland Security budget is for defense, in theory at least.

  2. missphd says:

    Yes, that makes sense because there is nothing on that chart labeled “military”.

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