Thursday, October 02, 2008


I understand there is a financial fact, research has been paying the toll for 5 years that lead up to this situation and its only looking worse.
"After adjusting for inflation, the federal investment in research could decline for the fifth year in a row in 2009 if the continuing resolution's funding levels hold for the entire year."
And forgive me that I am a little pissed off about the fact that there are still three agencies that WILL see increases, despite the current financial situation. Can you guess?

The departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs.

What this means for me, is after having my grant not funded twice, it is looking miserable for the third round too... I guess I should have gone into biological warfare...


Nick said...

Some funding for veterans might trickle into medical research, but yeah, you're right.

Another thing that's bugged me in the presidential campaign is how scientific research gets pointed to as an example of wasteful earmark spending. "Can you believe those politicians are wasting a WHOLE $6 million your money studying the DNA of bears and seals? What good could possibly come of that?"

Remember that Republicans are always going to provide less funding for research than Democrats no matter what the economy does. As fiscal conservatives Republicans believe that the only research worth doing is that which can fund itself by putting new products on the market, and as social conservatives they believe that empirical evidence is of little relevance for making decisions about how society should work.

So, choir, if you want Jen to be less stressed, don't vote for Republicans.


Syd said...

You may be correct, Nick. But I expect that Republicans would prefer that the funding come from private resources rather than the government.

And I'll point out that you might not have the freedom to do your research without the departments you mentioned, Jen.

That said, I sincerely hope your job isn't negatively affected by the economic or political climate.

Jen said...

Bra - Its true, over the last 15 years I have watched research funding ebb and flow with the administration. How bad things are now has never been experienced before, and I know its the same for a lot of folks.

And being a bleeding heart liberal that I am, I rarely find the republican candidate as the one for me... This characteristic of mine also makes me not want to party-bash either. Understanding the opposing view is critical to reaching an common good.

Syd - There is a bit of funding from private industry. But those funding sources are small, short-term and very specific to the goals of the foundations that allot them (which is how I would want it if I were allocating monies)or they are funded by pharmaceutical companies for specific drug testing and not basic research.

I submitting for funding from one those sources too, it won't cover my salary, but it would cover supplies...that helps, cross your fingers.

There will be some trickle down money from those departments to the agency that I am funded through because we are deafening soldiers in Iraq and Veterans suffer from chronic and acute hearing loss. But it usually doesn't make it far because so many areas of research are suffering...

Next step for me if my research isn't funded...industry whore. I have no shame.

LostInColor said...


Meaner Dog said...

Well, The Dept of defense needs it for the wars. Homeland Security needs it for the Army Troops to be deployed on our own soil.

Veterans affairs may be somewhat understandable.

I wish I had a crystal ball.

Meaner Dog said...

The entire link didn't post. Trying again.

cindy lund said...

Thought you might like to read the science debate. McCain and Obama answer questions about science-

The financial crisis will surely affect what actually happens, but Obama wants to double basic research funding over 10 years.

sageweb said...

My brother was a medical research scientist for UCI. He quit because of funding was a passion of his but funding was a pain..he did start his own landscaping business make good use of his latin skillz.