Science Works For U.S., an advocacy group supporting university researchers across the Nation, believes that the looming budget sequester could have a devastating impact on American scientific research.
The sequestration cuts that are scheduled to take effect in January would slice the Federal government’s research budget — which makes up only about 2 percent of the budget as a whole — by $12 billion in 2013 and $60 billion through 2016.
The group argues that allowing automatic and across-the-board spending cuts to American scientific research is going to lead to the Nation falling behind other global competitors in areas like technology, health and agriculture.
“There is a great deal at stake here,” said Steven J. Fluharty, senior vice provost for research at the University of Pennsylvania. “In the near term, we’re talking about job loss. We’re talking about dramatically reducing the rate of discovery and innovation in this country, which has traditionally been the lifeblood of our economy. In the longer term, there is no doubt that we will impact on the very discoveries that will improve our ability to both treat and ultimately to prevent diseases.”
According to Science Works for U.S., Federal funding for research is now at the lowest level (in real dollars) in the past decade and further cuts will hurt research without creating a real deficit solution.