How does the sequester affect research?
With the December 13th budget deadline fast approaching, once again the topic of ending the sequester has come up.
UC Berkeley’s Robert Reich recently posted two videos talking about how the sequester happened and also how it can be fixed.
One of the things not often cited are the effects on education and research funding. Some examples of this include:
- NIH (National Institutes of Health) and NSF (National Science Foundation) - Grant money has been reduced that normally goes toward research exploring how diseases spread and issues around obesity.
- UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography was affected by having to reduce the number of new science and technology centers. These centers provide long term funding to complex research such as developing new medicines or new ways to reduce energy consumption.
- The National Labs have had to reduce staff and delay major research projects due to budgetary constraints. The National Labs have a broad range of research from national defense, climate science and many innovations for clean energy.
Overall this funding affects the ability for researchers to hire graduate students and post-docs. This essentially means future generations of researchers will lose out on valuable experience and training in advanced fields of science and technology.
We’re urging congress to act on fixing these problems. You can also help by contacting your lawmaker or writing a letter to the editor in your local newspaper.
The Coalition for Life Sciences has a great guide on how to go about doing this (and even a useful tool to look up who your lawmaker is).
Signal boost, people need to know these things.