Tag: Sequester

Dwindling Intellectual Capital in US Science Research: How Sequestration Continues to Hurt Long-term US Interests

Lady Liberty, a symbol of indomitable hope

For a while, I have been following and writing on the terrible science funding crunch situation in the US as a result of sequestration, whose ill effects were compounded by the period of government shutdown. I heard the alarm bells at the end of 2010 (when my blog was still a part of Nature Blogs); it scared me to find out how much even the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) seemed to agree with me on this. The danger became imminent in the fall of 2012, when a legislative alert from my professional body, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), laid out in great details the alarming impact of sequestration – an indiscriminate budget cut imposed on on science and public health programs, amongst other things. And going against all good sense, the sequester was implemented at the beginning of March, 2013; at that time, I caught a glimpse of the horrendous future impacts of the self-inflicted trauma that was the sequester, on the nation’s well-being.

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Plight of Fungal Genetics Stock Center: NSF-funding declined

Last fall, I wrote with a great deal of concern about the deleterious effect of the sequestration on Federally-funded Biomedical Research in the United States, including real-life examples of scientists in jeopardy highlighted in the Huffington Post. In another post, I pointed out how sequestration-mandated cuts to funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF), coupled with the ill-conceived government shutdown, were seriously imperiling invaluable and irreplaceable scientific research. Although the shutdown was rescinded by the third week of October 2013, it left behind grave concerns about long-term fallouts, especially in less visible areas associated with scientific research in this country.

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Crucial Legislative Alert From American Society for Microbiology

Wasn’t it yesterday that I wrote about the proposed US Senate bill that would increase the budget of the National Institutes of Health to USD 31 billion in 2014 for biomedical research? I also expressed the concern that although this seemed like the much-awaited glimmer of hope, the bill would have to pass through the Republican-controlled House and would undoubtedly suffer major setbacks to the point of being scuttled. I am powerless to do anything directly, since I am not a US citizen – but I can certainly try to raise awareness of this issue, so that other American scientists and colleagues may do their part and communicate their concerns to their elected members of the Congress.

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