Funding of Basic Science: The Special Role of Philanthropy
Federal funding of research and development at higher education institutions has fallen by about 11% since 2011, representing the longest multiyear decline in federal funding for academic R&D since data collection began in 1972. What the government calls basic research has ostensibly done better than R&D as a whole, yet most scientists will tell you that agencies are demanding that research be more applied or translational. Philanthropy cannot fill the gap in federal funding, but there are things philanthropists can do that government finds difficult. I will discuss the trends in federal and philanthropic support for science, which led to the formation of the Science Philanthropy Alliance. I will explain the mission and strategy of the Alliance and our progress to date.