Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our socialist president

Not so socialist. Dr. Stephen Meltzer of Johns Hopkins informs us of the following:

I was on a recent conference call with Administration officials, during which research funding was discussed. It seemed to me that these officials did not fully understand the central importance of NIH funding to our national research enterprise, to our local economies, to the retention and careers of our most talented and well-educated people, to the survival of our medical educational system, to our rapidly fading worldwide dominance in biomedical research, to job creation and preservation, to national economic viability, and to our national academic infrastructure. In response to a question from a participant, they staunchly defended the proposed flat $30.7 billion FY 2013 NIH budget as being perfectly adequate, remarking that “The NIH receives more funding than any other research entity; it will continue to be strong; it will do just fine.”

Unfortunately, this is not the case. The proposed flat NIH budget will severely exacerbate a catastrophic crisis that has been ongoing since 2003, when growth in NIH funding fell (and has continued to fall every subsequent year) behind the rate of inflation. As a consequence of this deeply flawed public policy, promising careers have been cut short, amazing research projects have been aborted, hundreds of laboratories nationwide have shrunk or been shut down, established and accomplished senior researchers have been forced to abandon their programs, young scientists have departed from research of even left the country (even after many years of productive training), thousands of ancillary jobs have been lost, our worldwide medical research dominance has been eroded (ceded to China, India, and other nations), and a large support network of laboratory supply and biotechnology companies has been drastically attenuated.

I have discussed these problems here previously, but hearing about the administration's position is appalling. I still think Obama is a spy.

Oh yeah: You can sign Dr. Meltzer's petition here.


kathy a. said...

i need only point out the obvious. everything the president tries to do in favor of moving forward is shot to hell by people who don't care about science, don't care about human individuals (unless they are zygotes in somebody else's womb), and do not believe in the greater good for the community.

potential opponents to the president would slash NIH funding substantially -- if not to zero, then to the point of absolute disaster.

we really need to focus on downstream political contests -- and to support those who believe in science and the dignity of already-born humans. a lot of the problem is with congress and with what insane shit states are doing. despite what some people say, the president and his administration does not have a freaking magic wand.

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