Mason Washington Post Op-Ed

House Resolution 1 ignores the fact that innovation is the most important factor in global economic competitiveness and continued American prosperity.

oakridgeFully half of U.S. economic growth since 1945 can be attributed to investments in science and technology. Our colleagues Paul Alivisatos, Eric Isaacs, Sam Aronson and Michael Kluse – the other directors of the Department of Energy’s Multi-program National Laboratories – agree that the competitive advantage the United States retains in technological innovation would be seriously jeopardized by extensive cuts to research proposed in House Resolution 1 for fiscal 2011. These reductions ignore the fact that innovation – not trade policies or labor costs – is the most important factor in global economic competitiveness and continued American prosperity.

The dramatic proposed cuts came just weeks after Congress extended the America Competes Act (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science). This bipartisan legislation was a statement that even in difficult times a priority should be placed on federally funded research tied to innovations that spawn new products and companies.

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Source: Thomas Mason, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Persis Drell, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | The Washington Post
Photo: Oak Ridge National Laboratory