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Democratic platform commits to double basic research agency budgets

The 2012 Democratic national platform, approved by delegates at the party’s convention on 4 September in Charlotte, North Carolina, declared its support for world-class science and research.

“Democrats are committed to preparing math and science teachers and training workers with skills for the future, and doubling funding for key basic research agencies,” the platform stated. It also asserted that President Obama has “charted a new mission for NASA,” and Democrats have reformed the patent system to speed approval of investors’ patents and provide alternatives to wasteful litigation.

In order to reduce the deficit while still making the needed investments in education, research, clean energy and other areas, Obama has asked for the wealthiest taxpayers to pay their fair share, according to the platform. It also noted that the president issued an executive order repealing the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

“The Republicans in Congress and Mitt Romney have a very different idea about where they want to take this country,” the Democratic platform continued. “To pay for their trillions in additional tax cuts weighted towards millionaires and billionaires, they’ll raise taxes on the middle class and gut our investments in education, research and technology, and new roads, bridges, and airports.”

Meanwhile, the Republican party’s platform—released on 29 August to coincide with its national convention in Tampa, Florida— emphasised that party’s support for research in sectors like cyber-security to coal. It also highlighted the importance of investing in research to develop “cutting-edge cyber security technologies.”