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What are the chances of funding cuts to science? (at the levels of the UK?)

by Simfish
Tags: chances, cuts, funding, levels, science
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Simfish
#1
Nov3-10, 01:38 PM
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I'm quite concerned about that...
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WhoWee
#2
Nov3-10, 05:36 PM
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Have you heard of any specific proposals for cuts?
JaredJames
#3
Nov3-10, 05:49 PM
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The government are culling everything by the looks of it (aside from the things we really could cut - the olympics for one).

Haven't seen any direct proposals, but they're slowly working through the lot. The only thing apparantely free of cuts so far is sports.

In two years the university fees are going up to 9000 per year.

Gokul43201
#4
Nov3-10, 07:12 PM
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What are the chances of funding cuts to science? (at the levels of the UK?)

jared, Simfish is worried about cuts in the US.
Jack21222
#5
Nov3-10, 09:07 PM
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Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
Have you heard of any specific proposals for cuts?
I heard about plans for a government hearing about the "scientific fraud" behind global warming. I know it's a banned topic here, but I think many of us can agree that the US Congress isn't in a position to determine scientific fraud, since so few of them are actually scientists.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...-future/65477/

According to Newsweek, the White House plans to aggressively enforce environmental regulations as they anticipate efforts from Republicans to strip authority from the EPA. Compromise on renewable energy standards is possible, but the posturing between Rep. Joe Barton, the chairman of the energy committee, and the administration, may make this terribly difficult. The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged "scientific fraud" behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit.
Jasongreat
#6
Nov3-10, 10:34 PM
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[QUOTE=Jack21222;2967838] but I think many of us can agree that the US Congress isn't in a position to determine scientific fraud, since so few of them are actually scientists.

QUOTE]

If there are so few of them able to determine if it is real science, or fraud, should they be able to pass laws based on said science, just because some scientists say it is so, or do they have a responsibility to weigh the facts, as they(and the public) see them?

Imo, if the science is valid, bringing the facts into the light wont hurt.
MATLABdude
#7
Nov3-10, 11:43 PM
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There were 3 actual scientists in the two houses, all physicists, all congressmen:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/10/science/10phys.html

The one Republican, Vernon J. Ehlers, retired. Rush Holt won re-election yesterday, but Bill Foster was defeated. Given Energy Secretary Stephen Chu's questioning (on plate tectonics) at the hands of Joe Barton, any investigation that might be launched doesn't bode well from a purely scientific point of view. Although they might go more along the lines of a lack of fiduciary duty and/or financial fraud, instead (not saying there's anything there, but that sort of investigation would be more up their alley).

EDIT: Looks like there're a few more with science backgrounds, including a chemist (John Olver) and an engineer with a Ph.D. in mathematics (Jerry McNerney):
http://engineering.curiouscatblog.ne...s-in-congress/
Simfish
#8
Nov4-10, 02:23 AM
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Looks like there's a good chance they'll cut science:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/04/bu...er=rss&emc=rss
JaredJames
#9
Nov4-10, 05:09 AM
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Quote Quote by Gokul43201 View Post
jared, Simfish is worried about cuts in the US.
Ah, misread the title.
Jack21222
#10
Nov4-10, 07:20 AM
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Quote Quote by Jasongreat View Post
If there are so few of them able to determine if it is real science, or fraud, should they be able to pass laws based on said science, just because some scientists say it is so, or do they have a responsibility to weigh the facts, as they(and the public) see them?

Imo, if the science is valid, bringing the facts into the light wont hurt.
They don't generally pass laws on science. They pass laws to set up organizations like the NIH, NSF, DoE, NASA, NOAA and the like and those organizations govern the science in this country.

MATLABdude referenced this already. But here is the chairman of the energy committee grilling Nobel laureate and Energy Secretary Steven Chu about oil in Alaska:



Keep in mind this was posted by Joe Barton himself (or more likely, his staff) with the headline Energy Secretary Puzzled By Simple Question.

Is this the kind of thing you had in mind when you said they should "weigh the facts as they see them?"
D H
#11
Nov4-10, 08:43 AM
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Yes, Joe Barton is an idiot. So are most congresscritters.

In the eyes of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, congresscritters are useful idiots who fund quite a bit of lot the research that moves our fields forward. They are useful only to the extent that the funding pipeline remains open. Congressional tectonics appear to be poised to shift those funds elsewhere.

The reverse is also true. Congresscritters view those of us who work in some technical endeavor as useful idiots. We remain useful so long as the truths we expose support their worldview and the knowledge we create puts money in their pockets or into the pockets of their voters. When we fail to be useful idiots are are just idiots whose funding can easily be shut off.

That makes for strange bedfellows.
MATLABdude
#12
Nov4-10, 10:11 PM
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...What may be even more scary: Joe Barton is one of the Congressfolks with a science background (BS and MS in industrial engineering):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Barton#Early_life

AND has at least a short stint in the private sector in oil and gas.
Ygggdrasil
#13
Nov4-10, 10:25 PM
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On the possibility of science funding cuts in the US, the New York Times says the following:
In the Republican platform, Pledge to America, the party vows to cut discretionary nonmilitary spending to 2008 levels. Under that plan, research and development at nonmilitary agencies — including those that sponsor science and health research — would fall 12.3 percent, to $57.8 billion, from the Mr. Obama’s request of $65.9 billion for fiscal year 2011.

An analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science looked at what would happen if all of the agencies were cut to the 2008 amounts. The National Institutes of Health would lose $2.9 billion, or 9 percent, of its research money. The National Science Foundation would lose more than $1 billion, or almost 19 percent, of its budget, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would lose $324 million, or 34 percent.
Of course, what actually happens to the budget is still very much in the air.


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