With all the talk about the nanotech bill, this plan from the Department of Energy, "Facilities for the Future of Science," (PDF, 1.2 MB) did not receive as much attention as it deserved. Much of it involves simply building the infrastructure (28 new science facilities) to enable some of the energy ideas that have been floating around for years, and of course to come up with some new ones. Fusion and supercomputing top the list of priorities, but nanotechnology gets a few perks thrown in there, too.
"Today, our investments in nanoscience – the science of very small things – are making the Department of Energy a leader in a global scientific effort that will give us the ability to build new and better materials from the molecular level," Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said in a speech to the National Press Club in early November.
One of the priorities is an upgrade of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. "The APS upgrade will greatly enhance the brilliance and power of the facility to enable scientists to study very small sample crystals—important for nanoscience research," the report says.