US Voters Oppose Science Cuts

Many Americans who are likely to vote in upcoming elections are not in favor of across-the-board cuts to non-discretionary funding.

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Sep 24, 2012

Major cuts to federal science funding loom on the horizon with the automatic sequestration provisioned by last year's Budget Control Act set to take effect in January 2013. And a new poll commissioned by science advocacy groups United for Medical Research (UMR) and Research!America suggests that likely voters are opposed to such drastic cuts to research funding.

"Across the board cuts for medical research will trigger unintended consequences that will impact millions of patients and companies on the verge of developing new treatments to combat disease," Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, said in a statement. "Our polling shows that likely voters are fully aware of the fiscal challenges facing the nation, but feel strongly that funding for medical research should be a priority for candidates and elected officials."

The poll asked 1,014 likely voters several questions on their feelings about federal funding of research in the United...

  • 51 percent said that across-the-board cuts are not the right way to reduce the deficit
  • 54 percent said that the U.S. should maintain world leadership in research.
  • 49 percent said that the U.S. should not scale back medical research funding.
  • 59 percent said that they doubt U.S. leadership in science and technology in 2020.

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