The economic crisis may actually help science. Cross your fingers - part of the stimulus package is tagged for expansion of the NSF, NIH and other entities.

From Science online:

House Democratic leaders this morning strongly signaled their support for including research, training, and scientific equipment in a massive economic recovery package being crafted this month. The funding is most likely to come by expanding existing programs at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, and elsewhere that could financially support a lot more qualified scientists than they currently do. Scientific organizations have proposed a long list of such projects that they feel meet the intent of the proposed legislation, which could exceed $800 billion over 2 years. Now it's looking more and more likely that science programs will get a chunk of that money—but no one yet knows what fraction of the big pie.

This morning while discussing the vote for SCHIP today on NPR's Morning Edition, Pelosi said if you want four words to describe the proposals for the economic recovery package, they are: "Science, science, science and science." Technology and engineering, innovation - they all require science, she said. "This is not our grandfather's public works program of the 30s."

You can listen to the 5 minute podcast here (she mentions science about 3 minutes in). Since science usually draws the short straw behind defense and other "priorities," hearing the Speaker of the House recognize science as critical to the future of our country is music to my ears. And perhaps Michael will breathe a little easier as he wades through a forest of instructions for grant writing.