Following yesterday’s depressing report about funding rates, we come across this synopsis of what the latest budget deal means for scientific research:
While the appropriations bill gives the National Institutes of Health $1 billion more than what it got under sequestration, the $29.9 billion allotted to it is still $714 million less than what it was meant to get in 2013 before the cuts. The National Science Foundation gets $7.2 billion, which is nearly $70 million below what it was meant to get in 2013. Sequestration cuts had significant impacts on scientific research projects last year after many of these agencies already had to deal with falling budgets for the past three years. The cuts meant that some projects closed, nearly half of the country’s scientists had to fire people, and about 70 percent couldn’t expand their research operations. Without significantly increased investment, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein has warned that “the nation’s role as an international leader in scientific research is at risk.”
Not good enough, but every bit helps. As long as our political discourse labors under the false impression that money per se is a limiting resource (even when you have a fiat currency), we will continue to have this problem.