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Microsoft Research VP testifies before Senate Committee, says US lags in basic research funding

Jeannette M. Wing is a corporate vice president tasked with running the Microsoft Research laboratories. Today, Wing appeared before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Wing was speaking at the hearing on “Leveraging the US Science and Technology Enterprise,” on the behalf of a special American Academy of Arts and Sciences Committee.

Specifically, Wing was speaking on behalf of the Academy of Arts and Sciences Committee on New Models for US Science and Technology Policy. This committee was formed in response to a fear that the US is falling behind other countries in the area of basic research. Wing’s testimony centered around the idea that basic research plays a fundamental role in American discovery and innovation.

Basic research is used to develop our understanding of our environment but doesn’t have a specific goal or product in mind. Basic research has helped lead to major advances in biotechnology, computer science, and aerospace. In turn, these American basic research advances have led to strong growth in the US economy.

Wing details what leads to American economic growth and prosperity in her written Senate Commerce Committe testimony:

Wing pointed out that while there are clear advantages to using basic research, the US has not utilized enough public and private investment in research and development. The US continues to fall behind other countries when it comes to basic research.

Wing further pressured lawmakers to take specific steps to make sure that Americans will get the most benefit from the US federal government’s investments in basic research. Wing also outlined what the US needs to do to make sure that the US remains the world’s innovation leader

Wing’s Senate Commerce Committee testimony transcript is available here.

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