New ‘r’s of education

A new website, ScienceWorksForUS.org, was unveiled Tuesday to show how the $21 billion in stimulus money — directed largely to universities and colleges through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation and the Energy Department — has been spent to support education and university research.


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The site, which includes a map illustrating a state-by-state breakdown of stimulus spending, is an initiative of the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Science Coalition, which represents 48 public and private research universities.

The scienceworksforus.org site is part of a communications campaign to reinforce the value of funding science research at the nation’s colleges and universities, said Bill Andresen, the president of the Science Coalition and vice president for federal affairs for the University of Pennsylvania.

He said the stimulus money represented the largest investment in research activities since Sputnik.

“We feel responsible for letting the public and Congress know how the money is being used,” he said.

The stimulus provided NIH about $5 billion more in funds over 2009 and 2010. But there is a danger of a “cliff effect,” Andresen said. When the stimulus money runs out, researchers and projects may be left without the money to continue.