Debt Ceiling Bill May Hurt Science

The bill to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the deficit would slash billions of dollars for basic scientific and medical research.

By | August 2, 2011

image: Debt Ceiling Bill May Hurt Science The CapitolJef Akst

The CapitolJEF ASKT

The debt ceiling proposal that passed the House of Representatives on Monday (August 1) will likely cause deep spending cuts for government scientific research if the Senate passes the bill this afternoon.

Though the details won’t be ironed out until at least November, the proposed bill will raise the debt ceiling and mandate at least $2.1 trillion dollars in deficit reduction over the next decade. After a protracted battle, the House passed the bill, with the Senate likely to follow.  “Neither side got what they wanted, but it is the essence of compromise,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a press conference yesterday.

If the bill passes, the United States will avoid defaulting on its loans from foreign countries and investors. This would avoid the possibility of investment rating agencies downgrading US debt, and consequently increasing the country’s interest rates on the money it’s already borrowed. But the bill will also mean significant cuts to the budgets for basic science agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, although the specific details have yet to be decided.

This could spell trouble for new technologies and ideas, said Matthias Rumpf, a spokesman for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international organization that aims to help governments develop policies to improve economic and social well-being. “Government-funded research sets the basis for this business research, and if you don't built your house on a solid ground you will ultimately run into problems,” he said. “The risk there is that it might undermine the innovation potential even for the private sector in the long run.”

Immediate impact

The House bill prevents the US government from defaulting by immediately raising the debt ceiling by $400 million, and by an additional $500 billion before next February. Discretionary spending—which funds the NIH, CDC, and FDA—will be cut by $21 billion in 2012, and proposed spending caps on these funds will slash the deficit by almost a trillion dollars by 2021.

Speaker of the House John Boehner
Speaker of the House John Boehner
FLICKR, MEDILL DC

In addition, the bill calls for the formation of a bi-partisan commission by mid-November of this year that will recommend ways to achieve an additional $1.2 to $1.5 trillion in debt-reduction over the next decade—either by cutting spending or raising tax revenue.

But what departments will be hit hardest is still unclear. Earlier plans had mandated that the majority of these cuts come from discretionary funding, which would have meant huge decreases for science agencies such as the NIH, CDC, and FDA. But the wordage of the pending bill would allow the commission to consider cuts in defense spending and entitlement programs such as social security, which means science may be saved from such a worst-case scenario.

No matter what the bi-partisan commission finds, however, the proposed deficit reduction is too steep to avoid real damage,  said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, an advocacy group that promotes health research. “These are horrifying cuts that could set us back for decades,” she said.

The NIH, for example, dedicates the majority of its $31 billion annual budget to grants, many of which are multi-year, rather than administrative costs, so any budget reductions would likely result in cuts to existing granting programs. “It’s not like they can take $31 billion and reprogram it overnight—they can’t,” said Ellen Sigal, the chair and founder of Friends of Cancer Research, an advocacy group for improving cancer drug discovery and safety.

Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control has little flexibility in how its annual budget of less than $6 billion is allocated. The agency is required to spend almost 70 percent of its money directly on programs run by state and local public health agencies, said Karl Moeller, the executive director of the Campaign for Public Health Foundation, an advocacy group for public health, so any cuts would directly impact those programs.  More than 43,000 public health professionals have already lost their jobs because of the recession, Moeller said, and already surveillance programs that track new cases of HIV are feeling the pinch, because there are fewer officials to collect data. “So if CDC gets cut back pretty severely, you will see changes in health outcomes,” he said.

The FDA is also likely to suffer as a result of any funding cuts, said Sigal. The agency regulates about a trillion dollars of products, with a budget of around $4 billion. While that’s an increase over years past, the agency has also been tasked with vastly more responsibilities, she said. New programs such as the Sentinel Initiative, which tracks the safety of products after they come on the market, could wind up on the chopping block, she said.

The NIH, CDC, and FDA declined to speak to The Scientist for this article because they do not comment on pending legislation.

Long-term effects uncertain

Despite the doomsday talk, the long-term effects of the debt-ceiling deal on science are still unknown. High ranking officials, including US President Barack Obama, have suggested that funding for scientific research should be a high priority. In a speech on Sunday night (July 31), President Obama called for a bill that “still allows us to make job-creating investments in things like education and research.” And in a May 16 speech on jobs and economic growth, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that government investment in scientific research is critical because the private market “won’t adequately fund basic research.”

In addition, the biggest reductions are proposed for later years. Future Congresses may not have the stomach for such draconian cuts, and may find ways to blunt the impact of this legislation, said Dean Baker, an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Washington-based economic think-tank.

Art Diamond, an economist at the University of Nebraska, Omaha who specializes in science and technology and the role of entrepreneurship in the economy, said that the current debt ceiling bill may not be bad for science in the long run. Cutting the debt while keeping taxes low should help fuel economic growth by reducing the interest payments the United States must make to foreign debt holders, while keeping more money in the pockets of investors, he said. “Science in the broader perspective is going to benefit from a stronger economy more than anything else,” he said, and this bill is a decent first-step to help the country rebound, he added.

But even if Congress votes to raise taxes, it’s not likely to significantly slow economic growth and harm research investment, Baker said. Thus, while a strong economy is important, cutting spending while maintaining low taxes isn’t necessarily the best way to get there. “The fact that they’re so focused on the deficit, cutting the debt, instead of getting the economy going, is really backwards,” he said. “It’s hard for me to believe that’s not going to hurt the process of innovation. When the economy is weak the last thing on earth that you want to do is have big budget cuts.”

Update: About an hour after this story published, the Senate passed the debt ceiling bill. Over the next few months, Congress will assemble a committee to determine how deficit cuts will be achieved and will report its recommendations by late November.

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Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

A bill that provides a $7 trillion increase (~$10 trillion - $2.X trillion) over what was spent before is a decrease?  Interesting. 

Avatar of: Daniel Dvorkin

Daniel Dvorkin

Posts: 20

August 2, 2011

Allow me to introduce you to this fascinating concept that economists call by the arcane name "inflation."

Avatar of: BobM54

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Leave it to the "freeloading" scientist to think adding  $7 Trillion wit ha "T" to the debt is considered getting hurt, but not in the way the Taxpayer gets it!

If you folks didn't waste so much money chasing phony science like AGW, then there would be plenty of money. But I guess there are just too many mediocre scientist to feed.

Avatar of: Rodmrose

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Gone off your meds again, Bob? Oh, that's right: You wouldn't ethically be able to accept medications, because they were developed by scientists ... silly me, expecting logic from a troll

Avatar of: BobM54

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

No sir.... I have seen what i spoken about first hand. So much money is WASTED... yes WASTED by so called scientist that work to get grant money and aren't the least bit interested in actually solving real world problems.

You're the one who needs to get off the meds, and out of the Taxpayer's pockets.

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Yes by "real" scientist who work at "REAL" companies that do REAL work to make money to pay their own way. Ye I know you're special and are one of the rare ones who could actually get a job in the real world, but prefer to stay at some non-profit soaking the Taxpayer on fantasy drugs!   Hey Yale University gets %10 Million a year and all they've produced is perverted Frat Boys

Avatar of: Mike_holloway

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

I hope this troll comment stays up because, I believe, it represents the level of understanding of the majority of the US population about science, and how much science can be trusted.  This is the result of the scientific community's general disinterest in educating and communicating with the general public.  The average person has no understanding of how much the country depends on the research investment the US has been making, and this is a direct result of their not understanding science and how it's done.

Avatar of: BobM54

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

A Troll... I realize that insecure people like yourself find it comforting to name call, but please grow up. My company does Product Development and hs worked on 3 large projects over the past 5 years, all funded with Grant monies from the NIH. And all 3 were absolutely hilarious in their scope and goals.... total bull shit! Take your head out of the sand. I'm NOT apposed to "real" Science funding. But what I am apposed to is the utter waste that is rampant in so called scientific community.

So call me names to make yourself feel self righteous, but I I'll take my share of the feeding frenzy when it passes my door, but don't expect me to feel sorry for the dumb asses like you who think they are practicing good science!

Avatar of: Kevinjosephcollinson

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

I don't think you should worry too much about the cuts that will hit science. It may be prudent to consider what happens after the cuts, like hyperinflation.

Avatar of: Sk

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Outsource inquisitive brains. Turn the clock back to the medieval times and live on a flat Earth. Great job Wash.. Politicians!!

August 2, 2011

Despite all this, I think the States will still be the place to be to good research, there is little doubt in my mind that in Europe the cuts will be more damaging, simply because there is so much less to start with.

Avatar of: Lenstavish

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Hey, so Medical Device Companies will still do trials in Europe and Asia where things are cheap (and so too the rush to market published results).

Avatar of: Trnsplnt

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

I've just been told that a Chinese faculty member at my institution has just been handed 2 million dollars in biotech startup money, minimal effort involved.  The number of papers from China turning up in my auto pubmed searchs just keeps growing to where it is now the majority.  The ascent of man will continue, just not here.  Don't think I can learn Chinese.

Avatar of: Trnsplnt

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Sorry.  Forgot to mention that the funds are coming directly from the Chinese government, which is probably already the world leader in funding basic molbio research. 

Avatar of: Daniel Dvorkin

Daniel Dvorkin

Posts: 20

August 2, 2011

Bob, anyone who leads with a line like "phony science like AGW," as you did above, has shown that he completely lacks the ability to evaluate what is and isn't scientifically worthwhile.  Maybe you're telling the truth about working for a NIH-funded company, maybe you're not; either way, you've clearly demonstrated that "absolutely hilarious in their scope and goals.... total bull shit!" is a judgement you're not competent to make.  If your salary does come from government research dollars -- well, there's some waste we can cut right there.

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Ah look THe Scientist removed all my comments... proof once again that real science doesn't exist anymore. Just sensor anything that doesn't fit your message!

phonies!

Avatar of: Raster

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

The word is "censor".

Avatar of: guest

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Congratulations... another idle academic corrects a mistake by another poster.  You should apply for a grant ot scour the internet for this. Come on it's science!

Avatar of: Dfritzin

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Bob, you really don't know what you are talking about. Many seemingly "useless" studies have resulted in the formation of whole new industries. Take, for example, biotechnology, which came into existence because some scientists found some enzymes that cut DNA at specific, sequence-defined sites. 

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Please show me the Government funding that led to such discoveries!

Avatar of: Mike_holloway

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Does everyone realize that it won't be long now before the majority of life science research is published in Chinese?  I doubt that the majority funding and doing the work is going to be happy working in English.

Avatar of: George Cernigliaro

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

It's not about the money; it's about the unethcial choices being made at the Federal Level with the huge monies they suck from us.  Wake up All! Your money is being wasted on constituency crap like the porkulous bill, and not being put to good objective use, such as funding for basic science.  

Avatar of: SuzyQue

SuzyQue

Posts: 5

August 2, 2011

So, we should keep on borrowing money we don't have, and sending the tab to our children and grandchildren in order to fund research with tax dollars?  Really? 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

A bill that provides a $7 trillion increase (~$10 trillion - $2.X trillion) over what was spent before is a decrease?  Interesting. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Allow me to introduce you to this fascinating concept that economists call by the arcane name "inflation."

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Leave it to the "freeloading" scientist to think adding  $7 Trillion wit ha "T" to the debt is considered getting hurt, but not in the way the Taxpayer gets it!

If you folks didn't waste so much money chasing phony science like AGW, then there would be plenty of money. But I guess there are just too many mediocre scientist to feed.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Gone off your meds again, Bob? Oh, that's right: You wouldn't ethically be able to accept medications, because they were developed by scientists ... silly me, expecting logic from a troll

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

No sir.... I have seen what i spoken about first hand. So much money is WASTED... yes WASTED by so called scientist that work to get grant money and aren't the least bit interested in actually solving real world problems.

You're the one who needs to get off the meds, and out of the Taxpayer's pockets.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Yes by "real" scientist who work at "REAL" companies that do REAL work to make money to pay their own way. Ye I know you're special and are one of the rare ones who could actually get a job in the real world, but prefer to stay at some non-profit soaking the Taxpayer on fantasy drugs!   Hey Yale University gets %10 Million a year and all they've produced is perverted Frat Boys

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

I hope this troll comment stays up because, I believe, it represents the level of understanding of the majority of the US population about science, and how much science can be trusted.  This is the result of the scientific community's general disinterest in educating and communicating with the general public.  The average person has no understanding of how much the country depends on the research investment the US has been making, and this is a direct result of their not understanding science and how it's done.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

A Troll... I realize that insecure people like yourself find it comforting to name call, but please grow up. My company does Product Development and hs worked on 3 large projects over the past 5 years, all funded with Grant monies from the NIH. And all 3 were absolutely hilarious in their scope and goals.... total bull shit! Take your head out of the sand. I'm NOT apposed to "real" Science funding. But what I am apposed to is the utter waste that is rampant in so called scientific community.

So call me names to make yourself feel self righteous, but I I'll take my share of the feeding frenzy when it passes my door, but don't expect me to feel sorry for the dumb asses like you who think they are practicing good science!

Avatar of: JSF

Anonymous

August 2, 2011

Why can't more science and technology folks have common sense like Art Diamond? This budget deal has cut too little and has done very little to change the big spending ways of Washington politicians. With every citizen saddled with $46,000 of the national debt and $130,000 per taxpayer, we should all be expecting and asking for deep cuts in discretionary as well as entitlement spending. Our nation is still on its way to bankruptcy and economic catatastrophe if things don't change. That is what happens to average citizens who can't put the brakes on their spending. Why does anybody think it will be any different with a freespending nation?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

I don't think you should worry too much about the cuts that will hit science. It may be prudent to consider what happens after the cuts, like hyperinflation.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Outsource inquisitive brains. Turn the clock back to the medieval times and live on a flat Earth. Great job Wash.. Politicians!!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Despite all this, I think the States will still be the place to be to good research, there is little doubt in my mind that in Europe the cuts will be more damaging, simply because there is so much less to start with.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Hey, so Medical Device Companies will still do trials in Europe and Asia where things are cheap (and so too the rush to market published results).

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

I've just been told that a Chinese faculty member at my institution has just been handed 2 million dollars in biotech startup money, minimal effort involved.  The number of papers from China turning up in my auto pubmed searchs just keeps growing to where it is now the majority.  The ascent of man will continue, just not here.  Don't think I can learn Chinese.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Sorry.  Forgot to mention that the funds are coming directly from the Chinese government, which is probably already the world leader in funding basic molbio research. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Bob, anyone who leads with a line like "phony science like AGW," as you did above, has shown that he completely lacks the ability to evaluate what is and isn't scientifically worthwhile.  Maybe you're telling the truth about working for a NIH-funded company, maybe you're not; either way, you've clearly demonstrated that "absolutely hilarious in their scope and goals.... total bull shit!" is a judgement you're not competent to make.  If your salary does come from government research dollars -- well, there's some waste we can cut right there.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Ah look THe Scientist removed all my comments... proof once again that real science doesn't exist anymore. Just sensor anything that doesn't fit your message!

phonies!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

The word is "censor".

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Congratulations... another idle academic corrects a mistake by another poster.  You should apply for a grant ot scour the internet for this. Come on it's science!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Bob, you really don't know what you are talking about. Many seemingly "useless" studies have resulted in the formation of whole new industries. Take, for example, biotechnology, which came into existence because some scientists found some enzymes that cut DNA at specific, sequence-defined sites. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Please show me the Government funding that led to such discoveries!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Does everyone realize that it won't be long now before the majority of life science research is published in Chinese?  I doubt that the majority funding and doing the work is going to be happy working in English.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

It's not about the money; it's about the unethcial choices being made at the Federal Level with the huge monies they suck from us.  Wake up All! Your money is being wasted on constituency crap like the porkulous bill, and not being put to good objective use, such as funding for basic science.  

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

So, we should keep on borrowing money we don't have, and sending the tab to our children and grandchildren in order to fund research with tax dollars?  Really? 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Why can't more science and technology folks have common sense like Art Diamond? This budget deal has cut too little and has done very little to change the big spending ways of Washington politicians. With every citizen saddled with $46,000 of the national debt and $130,000 per taxpayer, we should all be expecting and asking for deep cuts in discretionary as well as entitlement spending. Our nation is still on its way to bankruptcy and economic catatastrophe if things don't change. That is what happens to average citizens who can't put the brakes on their spending. Why does anybody think it will be any different with a freespending nation?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

A bill that provides a $7 trillion increase (~$10 trillion - $2.X trillion) over what was spent before is a decrease?  Interesting. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Allow me to introduce you to this fascinating concept that economists call by the arcane name "inflation."

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Leave it to the "freeloading" scientist to think adding  $7 Trillion wit ha "T" to the debt is considered getting hurt, but not in the way the Taxpayer gets it!

If you folks didn't waste so much money chasing phony science like AGW, then there would be plenty of money. But I guess there are just too many mediocre scientist to feed.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Gone off your meds again, Bob? Oh, that's right: You wouldn't ethically be able to accept medications, because they were developed by scientists ... silly me, expecting logic from a troll

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

No sir.... I have seen what i spoken about first hand. So much money is WASTED... yes WASTED by so called scientist that work to get grant money and aren't the least bit interested in actually solving real world problems.

You're the one who needs to get off the meds, and out of the Taxpayer's pockets.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Yes by "real" scientist who work at "REAL" companies that do REAL work to make money to pay their own way. Ye I know you're special and are one of the rare ones who could actually get a job in the real world, but prefer to stay at some non-profit soaking the Taxpayer on fantasy drugs!   Hey Yale University gets %10 Million a year and all they've produced is perverted Frat Boys

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

I hope this troll comment stays up because, I believe, it represents the level of understanding of the majority of the US population about science, and how much science can be trusted.  This is the result of the scientific community's general disinterest in educating and communicating with the general public.  The average person has no understanding of how much the country depends on the research investment the US has been making, and this is a direct result of their not understanding science and how it's done.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

A Troll... I realize that insecure people like yourself find it comforting to name call, but please grow up. My company does Product Development and hs worked on 3 large projects over the past 5 years, all funded with Grant monies from the NIH. And all 3 were absolutely hilarious in their scope and goals.... total bull shit! Take your head out of the sand. I'm NOT apposed to "real" Science funding. But what I am apposed to is the utter waste that is rampant in so called scientific community.

So call me names to make yourself feel self righteous, but I I'll take my share of the feeding frenzy when it passes my door, but don't expect me to feel sorry for the dumb asses like you who think they are practicing good science!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

I don't think you should worry too much about the cuts that will hit science. It may be prudent to consider what happens after the cuts, like hyperinflation.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Outsource inquisitive brains. Turn the clock back to the medieval times and live on a flat Earth. Great job Wash.. Politicians!!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Despite all this, I think the States will still be the place to be to good research, there is little doubt in my mind that in Europe the cuts will be more damaging, simply because there is so much less to start with.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Hey, so Medical Device Companies will still do trials in Europe and Asia where things are cheap (and so too the rush to market published results).

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

I've just been told that a Chinese faculty member at my institution has just been handed 2 million dollars in biotech startup money, minimal effort involved.  The number of papers from China turning up in my auto pubmed searchs just keeps growing to where it is now the majority.  The ascent of man will continue, just not here.  Don't think I can learn Chinese.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Sorry.  Forgot to mention that the funds are coming directly from the Chinese government, which is probably already the world leader in funding basic molbio research. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Bob, anyone who leads with a line like "phony science like AGW," as you did above, has shown that he completely lacks the ability to evaluate what is and isn't scientifically worthwhile.  Maybe you're telling the truth about working for a NIH-funded company, maybe you're not; either way, you've clearly demonstrated that "absolutely hilarious in their scope and goals.... total bull shit!" is a judgement you're not competent to make.  If your salary does come from government research dollars -- well, there's some waste we can cut right there.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Ah look THe Scientist removed all my comments... proof once again that real science doesn't exist anymore. Just sensor anything that doesn't fit your message!

phonies!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

The word is "censor".

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Congratulations... another idle academic corrects a mistake by another poster.  You should apply for a grant ot scour the internet for this. Come on it's science!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Bob, you really don't know what you are talking about. Many seemingly "useless" studies have resulted in the formation of whole new industries. Take, for example, biotechnology, which came into existence because some scientists found some enzymes that cut DNA at specific, sequence-defined sites. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Please show me the Government funding that led to such discoveries!

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Does everyone realize that it won't be long now before the majority of life science research is published in Chinese?  I doubt that the majority funding and doing the work is going to be happy working in English.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

It's not about the money; it's about the unethcial choices being made at the Federal Level with the huge monies they suck from us.  Wake up All! Your money is being wasted on constituency crap like the porkulous bill, and not being put to good objective use, such as funding for basic science.  

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

So, we should keep on borrowing money we don't have, and sending the tab to our children and grandchildren in order to fund research with tax dollars?  Really? 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 2, 2011

Why can't more science and technology folks have common sense like Art Diamond? This budget deal has cut too little and has done very little to change the big spending ways of Washington politicians. With every citizen saddled with $46,000 of the national debt and $130,000 per taxpayer, we should all be expecting and asking for deep cuts in discretionary as well as entitlement spending. Our nation is still on its way to bankruptcy and economic catatastrophe if things don't change. That is what happens to average citizens who can't put the brakes on their spending. Why does anybody think it will be any different with a freespending nation?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Crazy that basic science funding is on the chopping block and there is no telling how it will affect education spending yet. All started by a fringe movement called the "Tea Party"! Weird they didn't protest deficit spending when Bush was president. Recent polls show most Americans (72% ABC News poll) support higher taxes on those making 250K/year but you cannot even bring that into the equation because the TP congress was holding a pistol to our head. Obama should have let us default until he got taxes into the discussion.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Republicans, the creators of the great depression. Almost created the greater drepression a couple years ago. Now about to serve up the greatest depression. They would prefer not to evolve beyond gold as currency, sums up the imagination. Debt, money and trust are uniquely human; we alone value and invent them at our will. It involves risk, faith in the future, and a willingness to manage the risk (i.e., not abuse it). If you want security, stick with gold, unless there is a famine, then try another commodity.

When the leadership, or its tea party subset, thinks the world began 6k years ago, and the possibility of climate change is precluded by a promise made to Noah by God; clearly science, medicine, engineering and technology only suck up money and prevent piety. Unless it is a dying member of their family or they can personally enrich themselves, then research needs to speed up.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Indeed.  Nicely put!  But what I don't understand is how so many in this country, which has benefited from science arguably the most, are so anti-science today.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

But even if Congress votes to raise taxes, it’s not likely to significantly slow economic growth and harm research investment, Baker said. Thus, while a strong economy is important, cutting spending while maintaining low taxes isn’t necessarily the best way to get there. “The fact that they’re so focused on the deficit, cutting the debt, instead of getting the economy going, is really backwards,â€쳌 he said. “It’s hard for me to believe that’s not going to hurt the process of innovation. When the economy is weak the last thing on earth that you want to do is have big budget cuts.â€쳌

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

But even if Congress votes to raise taxes, it’s not likely to significantly slow economic growth and harm research investment, air Jordan
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Baker said. Thus, while a strong economy is important, cutting spending while maintaining low taxes isn’t necessarily the best way to get there. “The fact that they’re so focused on the deficit, cutting the debt, instead of getting the economy going, is really backwards,â€쳌 he said. “It’s hard for me to believe that’s not going to hurt the process of innovation. When the economy is weak the last thing on earth that you want to do is have big budget cuts.â€쳌

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

I think you are missing my point and the point of the petition. First of all, they don't say climate change is not happening, they say that we cannot know that humans are causing it. There is no absolute proof. The earth's atmosphere and climate are too complex. There are so many different factors and we have no way of knowing which factors have the most weight. Evidence has to be interpreted and bias can effect that. Bias can determine which factors the scientists give the most priority in their modeling. For instance, there may be a correlation between the rise in temperature and the rise in CO2, but which one caused the other. Higher temperatures (which evidence shows started occuring before the higher CO2 levels) very well could be the cause of the higher CO2 levels since warmer ocean water can hold less in solution.  Yes, OISM has an agenda which is to make the opposing view known and suggest some restraint to the agenda of decreasing greenhouse gases despite the potential negative effects on our economy or possibly even on the environment. They are pretty up front about the distinctions between degrees, but nine thousand PhD's is no small number even if it is a minority. There are climatologists that disagree with the majority but does that make them wrong? This leads me back to my main point and that is that consensus does not prove a thing. Majority does not make right. The history of science is full of examples of this. You can choose to believe the majority or the minority, but you don't really know which is correct do you? Are you a climatologist? And if you were, would that make you free from bias or error? You can jump on the band wagon and call the rest ignorant if you want, but that does not make you any more knowledgeable than they.

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Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

This is a misplaced reply to Bill and JohnnyMorales. Please excuse my technical issues.

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Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Oh no, of course not.  What we should be doing is closing down all centers of learning and research, and instead, increasing tax subsidies for oil companies with the express condition that they forego research (that's a bad word, after all) on alternative, greener, more sustainable forms of energy (all bad words, by the way), and instead drill more (now, there's a nice word!) so that we can continue to pollute the earth and send THAT tab to our children and grandchildren.  

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Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Yeah, that's a plan...

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Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

If you were interested in science, as opposed to trolling, you could answer that question yourself. Arber, for example, at that time worked at the University of Geneva, a government funded institution. Geneva is in Switzerland, which is in Europe, just FYI.

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Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Sorry again.  Forgot to mention that all that money and research is staying firmly in China.  The guy spends half his time in China and maintains labs in China and the US.  Guess which one is larger.

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Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Yeah but, competition aside everybody still hurts from it. This is a golden age of science, we're right in the swing of things and suddenly they're cutting us off. Besides, government oversight is the main thing driving later stage clinical trials for drugs and vaccines, since private companies can't afford the risk of a flopped drug. If these agencies, the premier research centers in the world, get cut, it's potentially a devastating blow to beneficial research in general. It'd be better if all Congressmen-and-women took a 70% cut to their 6-digit salaries, since it's their lack of fiscal discipline that continues to get all of us in this mess in the first place. Ironically, they're not even going to be the ones whose jobs are hurt by the fallout of this bill.

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Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Msinkorswim,

I regret if my message conveyed the impression that I was all in favor of cutting scientific research. I am not and I totally agree with you. It was more a reaction to the frustration I feel about how science is funded in France, where I work.

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Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

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August 3, 2011

It's a shame, because there are plenty of public-access journals and websites. Everything they could ever want to know is at their fingertips, but they either aren't aware of it or are too apathetic to get into it. And yet they're so eager to demonize and flame science/scientists.

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August 3, 2011

Crazy that basic science funding is on the chopping block and there is no telling how it will affect education spending yet. All started by a fringe movement called the "Tea Party"! Weird they didn't protest deficit spending when Bush was president. Recent polls show most Americans (72% ABC News poll) support higher taxes on those making 250K/year but you cannot even bring that into the equation because the TP congress was holding a pistol to our head. Obama should have let us default until he got taxes into the discussion.

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August 3, 2011

Republicans, the creators of the great depression. Almost created the greater drepression a couple years ago. Now about to serve up the greatest depression. They would prefer not to evolve beyond gold as currency, sums up the imagination. Debt, money and trust are uniquely human; we alone value and invent them at our will. It involves risk, faith in the future, and a willingness to manage the risk (i.e., not abuse it). If you want security, stick with gold, unless there is a famine, then try another commodity.

When the leadership, or its tea party subset, thinks the world began 6k years ago, and the possibility of climate change is precluded by a promise made to Noah by God; clearly science, medicine, engineering and technology only suck up money and prevent piety. Unless it is a dying member of their family or they can personally enrich themselves, then research needs to speed up.

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August 3, 2011

Indeed.  Nicely put!  But what I don't understand is how so many in this country, which has benefited from science arguably the most, are so anti-science today.

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August 3, 2011

But even if Congress votes to raise taxes, it’s not likely to significantly slow economic growth and harm research investment, Baker said. Thus, while a strong economy is important, cutting spending while maintaining low taxes isn’t necessarily the best way to get there. “The fact that they’re so focused on the deficit, cutting the debt, instead of getting the economy going, is really backwards,â€쳌 he said. “It’s hard for me to believe that’s not going to hurt the process of innovation. When the economy is weak the last thing on earth that you want to do is have big budget cuts.â€쳌

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August 3, 2011

But even if Congress votes to raise taxes, it’s not likely to significantly slow economic growth and harm research investment, air Jordan
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Baker said. Thus, while a strong economy is important, cutting spending while maintaining low taxes isn’t necessarily the best way to get there. “The fact that they’re so focused on the deficit, cutting the debt, instead of getting the economy going, is really backwards,â€쳌 he said. “It’s hard for me to believe that’s not going to hurt the process of innovation. When the economy is weak the last thing on earth that you want to do is have big budget cuts.â€쳌

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

I think you are missing my point and the point of the petition. First of all, they don't say climate change is not happening, they say that we cannot know that humans are causing it. There is no absolute proof. The earth's atmosphere and climate are too complex. There are so many different factors and we have no way of knowing which factors have the most weight. Evidence has to be interpreted and bias can effect that. Bias can determine which factors the scientists give the most priority in their modeling. For instance, there may be a correlation between the rise in temperature and the rise in CO2, but which one caused the other. Higher temperatures (which evidence shows started occuring before the higher CO2 levels) very well could be the cause of the higher CO2 levels since warmer ocean water can hold less in solution.  Yes, OISM has an agenda which is to make the opposing view known and suggest some restraint to the agenda of decreasing greenhouse gases despite the potential negative effects on our economy or possibly even on the environment. They are pretty up front about the distinctions between degrees, but nine thousand PhD's is no small number even if it is a minority. There are climatologists that disagree with the majority but does that make them wrong? This leads me back to my main point and that is that consensus does not prove a thing. Majority does not make right. The history of science is full of examples of this. You can choose to believe the majority or the minority, but you don't really know which is correct do you? Are you a climatologist? And if you were, would that make you free from bias or error? You can jump on the band wagon and call the rest ignorant if you want, but that does not make you any more knowledgeable than they.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

This is a misplaced reply to Bill and JohnnyMorales. Please excuse my technical issues.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Oh no, of course not.  What we should be doing is closing down all centers of learning and research, and instead, increasing tax subsidies for oil companies with the express condition that they forego research (that's a bad word, after all) on alternative, greener, more sustainable forms of energy (all bad words, by the way), and instead drill more (now, there's a nice word!) so that we can continue to pollute the earth and send THAT tab to our children and grandchildren.  

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Yeah, that's a plan...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

If you were interested in science, as opposed to trolling, you could answer that question yourself. Arber, for example, at that time worked at the University of Geneva, a government funded institution. Geneva is in Switzerland, which is in Europe, just FYI.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Sorry again.  Forgot to mention that all that money and research is staying firmly in China.  The guy spends half his time in China and maintains labs in China and the US.  Guess which one is larger.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Yeah but, competition aside everybody still hurts from it. This is a golden age of science, we're right in the swing of things and suddenly they're cutting us off. Besides, government oversight is the main thing driving later stage clinical trials for drugs and vaccines, since private companies can't afford the risk of a flopped drug. If these agencies, the premier research centers in the world, get cut, it's potentially a devastating blow to beneficial research in general. It'd be better if all Congressmen-and-women took a 70% cut to their 6-digit salaries, since it's their lack of fiscal discipline that continues to get all of us in this mess in the first place. Ironically, they're not even going to be the ones whose jobs are hurt by the fallout of this bill.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

August 3, 2011

Msinkorswim,

I regret if my message conveyed the impression that I was all in favor of cutting scientific research. I am not and I totally agree with you. It was more a reaction to the frustration I feel about how science is funded in France, where I work.

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