Gains and losses mostly single-digit Essay

The fiscal year 1986 budget proposal is not bullish on social and
behavioral research, but it does contain some individual funding

The total budget for the Alcohol, Durg Abuse and Mental Health
Administration is slated for a 4 percent cut from FY ’85, to $886
million. Research, however, would be largely spared. The President
wants a 5 percent raise for drug abuse research, to $68.5 million and
also nearly 5 percent more for alcohol-related research, to $52.6
million. Mental health research would drop by 2 percent, to $191
million. In a replay of an unsuccessful attempt last year, the
administration wants to cut all funds for training mental health
clinicians and operating mental health screening programs. St.
Elizabeths Hospital, a federal mental institution in Washington, D.C.,
would receive $42.4 million, a drop of about $6 million, in a continuing
effort to transfer responsibility for its financial survival to the

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But at the National Science Foundation (NSF), support for social
and economic sciences would jump 19 percent over FY ’85, to $34
million. The money is aimed largely at promoting economics research to
aid political decision-making. Cognitive science — particularly
research on teaching and learning processes — and anthropological
research would receive slight increases, to $11 million and $7.3 million
respectively. As with the FY ’85 budget, only 5 percent of the NSF
total would be directed toward social and behavioral work.

Cuts of about 7 percent are proposed for two institutes within the
National Institutes of Health that fund behavioral research on aging and
child health. Money for these projects will be divvied up after a final
budget is approved.


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