Stand with Science, a campaign launched by MIT students, has gathered more than 10,000 signature on a web petition calling on Congress not to cut science funding in the name of deficit reduction. Below find a sampling of comments from the petition.
They are also planning a“ Science Policy Bootcamp” …a 4-day short course, offered during MIT’ idependent Activities Period in January, designed to introduce graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of science policy making. The course provides an opportunity for young scientists and engineers interested in science policy issues to increase their understanding about and practical involvement with science policy. The bootcamp serves to both expose participants to the fundamental structure and dynamics of science policy and inform them of routes into a policy experience or career.
At the same time, the Columbia Journalism Review has a piece that suggests reporters look a little more closely at claims that there is a shortage of scientists.
Simply put, a desire for cheap, skilled labor, within the business world and academia, has fueled assertions—based on flimsy and distorted evidence—that American students lack the interest and ability to pursue careers in science and engineering, and has spurred policies that have flooded the market with foreign STEM workers. This has created a grim reality for the scientific and technical labor force: glutted job markets; few career jobs; low pay, long hours, and dismal job prospects for postdoctoral researchers in university labs; near indentured servitude for holders of temporary work visas.
Not enough money or too many scientists? Either way, government funding harder to get. Some say even the stars are losing their long-time NIH grant. So here’s a sampling of comments from the petition, with our subheads.
I have taught Biology at the graduate and undergraduate level and run a University Research laboratory level for 35 years. I have never seen the stature of, and funds for science as low as it is now. If I were just entering the field I would choose an alternate career. The US has is in danger its potential for economic development for the next several generation ..if the country survives that long.
Cutting funding to science and technology is a reactionary response to current fears about deficits. Such cuts would sacrifice our children’s future without making significant progress to bolstering the nation’s financial security.
I am currently a Junior Biochemistry major and at the rate we’re going now, I’ll probably end up serving people dinner to make money after school, when I could be working on new antibiotics to combat the rapidly increasing numbers of resistant infectious pathogens. Without research in that field, it won’t matter what our economy is because we’ll all have been wiped out by superbugs that can’t be killed
There are so many things that are vital to our future, but research, education, and technology development seem like no-brainers. Well I guess they ARE brainers, which is the point? Either way they are clearly important so please don’t cut funding for them
As a former Alzheimer’s Disease researcher and current high school biology teacher, I support continued funding for science research. Many people don’t go into research as a career simply because there is not enough money. This is an injustice to society.
I am an Experimental Psychologist and I stand by this letter. I teach my students to question evidence, to test their predictions, to analyze data, to refine and replicate. I am a scientist, and I teach my students to be scientists in their every day lives. Science makes my students think, decided for themselves, and act. Is science important? Yes- in every discipline and in life!
As an NSF-funded grad student, I could never have gotten my PhD without public funding; the student loan debt would have been too high. My state university also takes around 40% of our grant in overhead fees, so the grant that funds me also brings money to my state. My PhD research has also supported fourteen undergraduate lab employees, who have gotten vital career skills (and gone on to jobs or graduate work in science, too). None of this would have been possible without public funding.
FROM THE LEFT
Less foreign occupations, more graduate education!
This is my livelihood. Not everything is market driven, such as science
FROM THE RIGHT
I am a tax payer. This is a wise investment in the future.
U.S. pharmaceutical companies are curtailing drug-development efforts due to their difficulty and expense. They are difficult and expensive because of our limited understanding of fundamental biological processes. This understanding is advanced mostly by academic and medical researchers, who rely on Federal grants. Each fundamental advance lowers the time and cost for private industry to develop pharmaceutical and biotechnological applications
I am for science.
As a Mom to a very intelligent Grad student I support this
Science is vital to our country. Why U no see that?!
Those who bit the hand that feeds them are bound to starve.
.. penny-wise and pound-foolish….
To paraphrase Obama: “If the plane’s too heavy, don’t throw out the engines.”