Science Priorities

By Sebastian Sprenger / August 5, 2009 at 5:00 AM

The White House yesterday released a memo outlining the Obama Administration's science and technology priorities for fiscal year 2011.

The document sets out four "practical challenges" to which agencies must divert dollars from "lower-priority" projects.

As for defense-related themes, the memo lists as one of the four practical challenges "technologies needed to protect our troops, citizens and national interests, including those needed to verify arms control and nonproliferation agreements essential to our security."

The document gets more concrete in a section prescribing four "cross-cutting areas," which agencies also must sufficiently fund.

According to the memo, investments will be needed to enhance U.S. space capabilities because they are "essential for communications, geopositioning, intelligence gathering, Earth observation and national defense, as well as for increasing our understanding of the universe and our place in it."