I don’t typically like to get involved with politics because nothing good ever come of it. However, yesterday, word around campus was that today, March 1st, with the start of the sequester, congress is cutting funds to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA, essentially killing the advancement of science in the United States. There are still private organizations which provide funds for science, but those are few and far between. NIH and NSF provide billions of dollars to scientific research annually. Billions of dollars is a lot of money so you may think, why can’t we take away just a few million from them and put it somewhere else? Well, because it actually doesn’t make that much of a difference in regards to the US budget but does make a HUGE impact on scientific discovery. The $37 billion annual budget of NIH is less than 1% of the US budget. The 10% cut to NIH from the sequester totals a savings of 0.08% in the US budget (Forbes, 14Jan13). 80-85% of projects submitted to NIH this year are going to have to be turned down because of this cut. One of those projects could be a life changing medical discovery. Is 0.08% worth it?
Without science there’s no innovation, discovery or progress. The US is already falling behind in the sciences.
Stop holding us back!