Congressman Ryan and Science Budgets

We note this observation in Nature (boldface mine):

If carried out, Ryan’s plan could cut spending on non-defence-related research and development by 5%, or $3.2 billion, below the President’s 2013 request, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Over the long term, Ryan’s small-government approach would shrink funding for research and development to historically small sizes.

Ryan’s spending caps would also represent a change in emphasis in the type of science that is supported. Although Ryan’s economic plan voices support for “basic research and development”, it would pare back spending in applied research and projects “best left to the private sector”. Science advocates worry that this might include research such as clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health for therapies from which the drug industry would be unlikely to profit. Ryan’s budget proposals have won the support of the Republican-led House, but they have been blocked by the Senate, where Democrats hold a slim majority.

I realize Obama is no great shakes (I’ve certainly been critical of his administration), but anyone who claims there is no difference between Obama and the Romney-Ryan ticket is demonstrating either a lack of imagination or of attention. Preventing those cuts will make a difference.

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1 Response to Congressman Ryan and Science Budgets

  1. HCA says:

    If Romney wins, I’m going to start looking extra hard for post-docs and faculty positions in Europe. Rats, sinking ship, all that.

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