WASHINGTON, DC The 200-plus research universities that make up ScienceWorksForU.S. today again called on Congress to stop sequestration and prevent the across-the-board cuts to discretionary spending that will result in drastic reductions in funding for basic scientific research. The consequences to the U.S. economy of reduced R&D under sequestration are significant a minimum $203 billion reduction in U.S. GDP over the next nine years and 200,000 fewer jobs per year between 2013 and 2016 but there are many other ways the United States will feel the impact of such drastic cuts.
In video messages to Congress, students, researchers and administrators spoke of the economic impact of sequestration, but also shared some of its more immediate and personal impacts.
To Suzanne Weaver Smith of the University of Kentucky, who leads NASA Kentucky, sequestration means a 40 percent cut to NASA's higher education programs there. "That's 30 students who are not going to have those opportunities," she says. "These students hopefully won't choose to leave STEM fields or not to pursue education, but you know that is really the risk."
Smith's UK colleagues, Mike Reid, a professor of physiology, and John Anthony, a professor of chemistry, expressed similar concerns about the people undergraduate researchers, grad students, Ph.D. and post-doctoral scholars working in their labs.
"If we have an abrupt cessation of federal funding, not only does the research stop but in some cases their livelihood stops," Reid says. He adds, "[when] research stops in a research-intensive field like physiology that means [students'] ability to progress toward a Ph.D. is immediately halted. They have no way to move forward without the support they need to do their work."
"These guys get a salary, they rent local homes, they pay taxes, they buy groceries, and we are essentially laying them off," says Anthony who is part of the Center for Applied Energ
|Contact: Lauren Pulte|
The Science Coalition