A look at the historical effects of downsized research funding suggests that the Trump administration’s proposed budget could hit early-career scientists the hardest.
By Diana Kwon | March 21, 2017
The Trump administration’s proposed federal budget has already evoked significant backlash from scientists and science advocacy organizations across the United States. The FY2018 budget proposal, released by the White House last week, includes massive cuts to agencies that fund research, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Despite the alarm surrounding the news of proposed science funding cuts, experts stressed that the budget request is unlikely to pass as is. “This is the president’s proposal . . . this is a statement from the White House about what they would like to see,” Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), told The Scientist. “It’s Congress that makes the appropriations.”
Congress has traditionally shown bipartisan support for biomedical research, said Elias Zerhouni, who was director of the NIH from 2002 until 2008. “I used to say that ‘Disease knows no party affiliation’ and ‘Disease knows no politics,’ and frankly, that’s my experience, so I’m hopeful that the damage will not be as great as what is being proposed.”