Penny Wise and Pound Foolish: US Science Funding Cuts and the Loss of a Country’s Competative Edge

A recent US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) report sees an 8.2% funding cut or a 2.53 billion dollar reduction in the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2013 budget if Congress does not act before January. NIH grant success rates could drop as low as 14% and will curtail research projects at universities and affiliated research institutions across the US.  The speed of the cuts over the ensuing nine-month period will likely have a major impact on awards for new grants or cause a significant trimming in existing grants. The result will be a loss of thousands of scientists and researchers and the curtailment or loss of their ongoing projects.  Sequestration-Outlook-Gets-Darker

Congress should view the hard lessons learned in Canada where the Canadian government budget cuts in the 1990’s caused  a “brain drain” that resulted in the loss of young scientists, an erosion of the country’s technological competitiveness and most sadly a terrible waste of human potential.  How bad was the brain drain?

Most scientists by nature are a quiet lot but this time call your federal representatives and put both a voice and face on the effects these cuts will have on the country’s future.

To contact your US State Representative

To contact your US State Senator

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