Advertisement

MIT Students Petition Congress

Graduate students ask for more federal research support.

By | March 27, 2012

image: MIT Students Petition Congress United States CapitolWikimedia Commons, Kmccoy

United States CapitolWIKIMEDIA COMMONS, KMCCOY

Today (March 27), a contingent of graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology delivered a petition to Congress, urging the government to boost federal support for scientific research. The petition, advertised around the web via a YouTube video featuring 42 MIT graduate students, now has over 10,000 signatures.

President Barack Obama’s proposed 2013 budget recommended some increases in science funding, but it must still be authorized by Congress, and automatic cuts from the Budget Control Act of 2011 loom on the horizon. These cuts include reducing budgets at key science agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and NASA, by up to 11 percent over the next 10 years, beginning next year.

The MIT petition, which began circulating in November 2011, urges Congress to “reserve the indispensable investments in science and engineering research that will drive our nation’s prosperity for generations.” More than 60 percent of university research is federally funded, according to the petition.

“Federal spending on R&D accounts for less than 5 percent of the budget, while innovation accounts for over 60 percent of economic growth,” the students state in the video. “That’s an investment we can’t afford to lose.”

Advertisement

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: alexh2194

alexh2194

Posts: 1

March 31, 2012

Although no one would argue against the value of
fundamental science and research, taxpayer funding of this research literally is
the state forcing peaceful taxpayers to hand over their hard earned dollars for
this research. Bashing someone over the head in order to steal his wallet or hacking
into a bank account in order to steal money is fundamentally different behavior
from cooperating peacefully and voluntarily with others in society in order to
achieve personal and social ends.  There
is a fundamental distinction between peaceful and non-peaceful behavior. Police
powers of the state directed against the non-peaceful is wholly and
fundamentally different from those same police powers directed against the peaceful.

Coercing the peaceful to support social values is
immoral, even if a majority agree that the ends are in fact social values.
 Note that the state and the criminal
have a common goal of coercing the peaceful to part with their money, which
represents their time and labor. In a free society, one always has the option
to persuade individuals and institutions in society to support his peaceful causes, such as research.  However, no one has the right to coerce the peaceful, either directly or indirectly via government.  The ends do not justify the means.

Government force directed implicitly or explicitly against
the peaceful is dictatorship.  The dictatorship
grows as government money flows into Universities biasing our entire
culture not to see, judge, or understand this use of government power as
dictatorship. Some estimates show government spending as 43% of all GDP in the
US (www.usdebtclock.org) , and this will not be near enough to cover existing
entitlements and other “social valuesâ€쳌 that the police powers of government force all of us to
support. When the number nears 100% or causes a financial collapse
aka Greece, most of us will have learned theory from government funded research that will blame the problems on
the remaining individual freedom and “free marketsâ€쳌, which is the term applied
to the existing government-industry cartel, where government complicity in the
problems is rarely considered fundamental. E.g., how much was government complicity
dicussed in the housing crisis? Yet there is a central
government bank controlling all money supply and giant government supported
lending enterprises controlling most of the mortgages in the US, along with 40
years of policy to make more Americans homeowners. This was and is nothing close to a "free market", yet the "occupy movement" and their University idealogical mentors primarily blame corporate greed.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 31, 2012

Although no one would argue against the value of
fundamental science and research, taxpayer funding of this research literally is
the state forcing peaceful taxpayers to hand over their hard earned dollars for
this research. Bashing someone over the head in order to steal his wallet or hacking
into a bank account in order to steal money is fundamentally different behavior
from cooperating peacefully and voluntarily with others in society in order to
achieve personal and social ends.  There
is a fundamental distinction between peaceful and non-peaceful behavior. Police
powers of the state directed against the non-peaceful is wholly and
fundamentally different from those same police powers directed against the peaceful.

Coercing the peaceful to support social values is
immoral, even if a majority agree that the ends are in fact social values.
 Note that the state and the criminal
have a common goal of coercing the peaceful to part with their money, which
represents their time and labor. In a free society, one always has the option
to persuade individuals and institutions in society to support his peaceful causes, such as research.  However, no one has the right to coerce the peaceful, either directly or indirectly via government.  The ends do not justify the means.

Government force directed implicitly or explicitly against
the peaceful is dictatorship.  The dictatorship
grows as government money flows into Universities biasing our entire
culture not to see, judge, or understand this use of government power as
dictatorship. Some estimates show government spending as 43% of all GDP in the
US (www.usdebtclock.org) , and this will not be near enough to cover existing
entitlements and other “social valuesâ€쳌 that the police powers of government force all of us to
support. When the number nears 100% or causes a financial collapse
aka Greece, most of us will have learned theory from government funded research that will blame the problems on
the remaining individual freedom and “free marketsâ€쳌, which is the term applied
to the existing government-industry cartel, where government complicity in the
problems is rarely considered fundamental. E.g., how much was government complicity
dicussed in the housing crisis? Yet there is a central
government bank controlling all money supply and giant government supported
lending enterprises controlling most of the mortgages in the US, along with 40
years of policy to make more Americans homeowners. This was and is nothing close to a "free market", yet the "occupy movement" and their University idealogical mentors primarily blame corporate greed.

Follow The Scientist

icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube
Advertisement

Stay Connected with The Scientist

  • icon-facebook The Scientist Magazine
  • icon-facebook The Scientist Careers
  • icon-facebook Neuroscience Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Genetic Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Cell Culture Techniques
  • icon-facebook Microbiology and Immunology
  • icon-facebook Cancer Research and Technology
  • icon-facebook Stem Cell and Regenerative Science
Advertisement
ProteinSimple
ProteinSimple
Advertisement
NeuroScientistNews
NeuroScientistNews