With the recent manufactured crisis that led to the government shutdown, it may be easy to forget that the budget sequestration is still in effect. And while the Pentagon is readying two budgets while they lobby Congress to exempt defense spending from sequestration, a new report shows that the American research community is already experiencing extreme setbacks.
Over the past 10 years, the federal investment in research and development has faltered. Federal investments in scientific research have been stagnant and have failed to keep pace with inflation. Furthermore, sequestration and other budget cuts to federal agencies have eroded our ability to invest in the next generation of scientists to carry out the groundbreaking research the U.S. is known for. These trends must be reversed in order for American scientists to continue to make the discoveries that improve our lives. An enduring federal investment in scientific research is essential to continue to enrich the lives of Americans for decades to come.
Produced by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology along with 15 other science organizations, the report is based on a nationwide, online survey designed to measure the effects of the faltering federal investment on scientists and the research they are trying to conduct. In total, the 3,700 respondents spanned nearly all scientific fields including biology, chemistry, physics, geosciences, engineering, mathematics, economics, computer science, education, political science and social and behavioral sciences.
As we gear up for SC13 next month, I believe that this report offers the HPC community badly needed data points that could form the basis for an action plan. We are all affected and there is much at stake for the future of this country. The opportunity of having so many brilliant minds in one space should not squandered.