Proposed Cuts To NIH Budget Threaten Scientific Research

Washington Post: Why slashing the NIH budget is indefensible
Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation magazine

“…When news of the proposed NIH cuts broke, scientists expressed fear about the far-reaching implications. In addition to biomedical research conducted at NIH headquarters in Maryland, more than 80 percent of the NIH budget is used to fund research at universities and other institutions nationwide. In many cases, NIH grants account for most of a laboratory’s funding, and they often drive follow-on contributions from other sources. … [T]he debate over NIH funding is further evidence of what has been clear for quite some time: Science is now political. In response, scientists are becoming more political, too. The March for Science is merely the most visible manifestation to date of an emerging social movement built on the common-sense principle that scientific findings should inform policy and not the other way around. … While some politicians would have us believe that we can’t spare money for scientific research, the opposite is true. We can’t afford to defund the vital efforts that could help solve some of our greatest challenges, from cancer to climate change. Those who plan to attend the March for Science — who are not just progressives or Democrats but represent an ideologically and culturally diverse movement — know that science is for all. They are sending an unequivocal message that while science may have become political, it will never be negotiable” (4/18).

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