Jim Lippard continues to present his reports on creationist finances, and this time he shows the Discovery Institute’s balance sheet. They brought in $3.5 million in 2004, almost all of it in the form of donations.
That sounds like a lot of money, but to put it in perspective, you could take a look at a representative university’s operating budget. The small liberal arts university I’m at, with about 2000 students, brings in about $11 million per year in tuition, and I believe that charitable donations were on the order of $1 million per year. In that absolute sense, the Discovery Institute is small potatoes. The difference is, though, that a university actually provides services by highly trained staff, and most of its income is plowed right back into doing real work. The DI uses its income almost entirely for PR.
Keep that in mind when you hear them talking about gearing up to do actual research: they don’t have the infrastructure or the people in place to do that much science, and they certainly don’t have the income to make much real progress. Maybe if they fired a bunch of flacks and philosophers, they’d have enough to fund one solid lab, if they could piggy-back on existing facilities somewhere.
Of course, they do have more than enough money to make a bigger public relations splash than a small university.