Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Threatened Science and Arts Federal Budget Cuts Do Not Materialize

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Nature is reporting that the threatened federal budget cuts to science and the arts did not materialize. As many readers of this blog certainly know, the president proposed double digit cuts to the National Institutes of Health and the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities among several other similar cuts to research organizations. The proposed budget would have done significant damage to the national research ecology in science and the humanities and there was great pressure from the research world to eliminate the cuts from the budget.

When I was in Washington meeting with congressional staffers about research earlier this year, everyone I spoke to about the budget, Republican and Democrat, said that the president's budget was not going to pass. They were right. The new budget is much more moderate. The National Institutes of Health actually got a budget increase and the budget of most other science and humanities funding agencies either remained the same or slightly increased or decreased.

As the article notes, there are continued threats from the executive branch about budget cuts for science and the humanities for next year's budget. For now however, everyone in the research community is taking a collective sigh of relief.

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