Prometheus Office Pool, 2005

December 30th, 2004

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

1) When the president’s FY 2006 budget is released it will show for NSF (a) a significant cut of 5%, (b) funding increase at the inflation rate, (c) a large increase on the way to a doubling, (d) a cut equal to the overall decline in discretionary spending

2) In 2005 a decision will be made about the Hubble Space Telescope to, (a) be serviced by a robot, (b) be serviced by a shuttle mission, (c) fall into the ocean with no repair mission, (d) put off the decision until 2006

3) When overall FY 2006 federal spending for R&D turns out to show a lower rate of increase (or even a decrease) from recent years members of the scientific community will, (a) break tradition and increasingly take on one another’s programs as a source of funds, (b) criticize the president and congress for punishing scientists for their advocacy in the 2004 election, (c) look increasingly to academic earmarks, (d) make louder pronouncements about a pending shortage of scientists

4) California’s Proposition 71 will be (a) rocked by scandal, (b) hailed for early therapeutic breakthroughs, (c) rarely in the news outside of California, (d) emulated by biotech interests in other states

5) The IPCC will (a) drop all pretensions of honest brokering and explicitly merge with the FCCC’s SBSTA, (b) see a continuing erosion of its legitimacy, (c) set up an external advisory body to help it connect its activities with the needs of policy makers, (d) forbid participation to scientists from countries having ratified the Kyoto Protocol

6) U.S. climate policy will be notable because (a) its dogged pursuit of the status quo, (b) its reengagement with international negotiations, (c) of record increases in funding of climate science, (d) it begins to highlight the inconsistent definitions of “climate change” used by the IPCC and FCCC

7) The president’s science advisor on 31 Dec 2005 will be (a) John Marburger, (b) Norman Augustine, (c) Mary Ann Fox, (d) a vacant position
8) The FDA will be (a) thoroughly investigated by Congress, (b) reorganized to reduce internal conflicts of interest, (c) start advertising to the public that for safety reasons there are drugs it has not allowed to market, (d) be rocked by continuing findings about the health effects of popular drugs recently approved

9) The big international issue in science and technology will be (a) natural disaster reduction, (b) discovery of life beyond earth, (c) concern over signs of an emerging pandemic, (d) abrupt climate change

10) Here at Prometheus we will see (a) an angel bequeathing an endowed chair and other goodies, (b) a steady rise in readership and comments, (c) an end to this blog experiment and retreat to the comforts of the peer-reviewed academic literature, (d) the addition of a few more regular posters.

My guesses: 1. (b), 2. (b), 3. all of the above, 4. (c), 5. (b), but (a) would be possible without the word “explicitly,” 6. (a), (d) is my wishful thinking, 7. (a), 8. (a), 9. (a), 10. I’m counting on (b) and am hopeful for (d) and, of course, (a) would sure be nice.

A final note of heartfelt thanks to Shep Ryen, who has made Promethus not only possible, but a success beyond anything I had imagined when we first cooked it up!

Happy New Year!

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