The President's R&D budget for fiscal years 1999 to 2003 is shaky, contends an analysis by the House Science Committee. Funding for the Administration's suggested $31 billion Research Fund for America, the report says, "is based on uncertain tax increases and uncollected money from the proposed tobacco settlement." If no tobacco settlement is reached, R&D will be "reduced substantially." The Research Fund, to be comprised mostly of existing programs, is part of the White House request to raise total R&D funding in real dollars for fiscal 1999 by 3% over current levels. For the other years, however, real spending would be less than fiscal 1998 levels, according to the analysis. In fiscal 2001--for the first time in 20 years--non-defense R&D would surpass defense R&D, and continue to rise.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.