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The Sciences

Pocket Change

Cosmic VarianceBy Sean CarrollMay 27, 2008 2:17 AM

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I made a chart! This is the kind of thing you do when you return from a long trip and are jet-lagged.

rd-vs-lost.jpg

These are the 2008 research budgets for physical sciences, in billions of dollars, for the main funding agencies in the U.S.: the Department of Energy, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. For helpful comparison purposes, I've also plotted the $14.9 billion that has been misplaced over the course of our reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Not the cost of the war itself, which has been over $500 billion so far and will be well over a trillion when all is said and done. Just the funds that were ... lost. Embezzled, whatever. Labels are so confining. Readers with interests outside science funding are welcome to suggest their own comparisons.

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