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Sun, Apr 20

Cuts and Shutdowns Are Hurting Science

On Oct. 1 last year, the U.S. federal government shut its doors after Congress failed to pass a budget. For 16 days, around 800,000 government employees twiddled their thumbs. Many of them were scientists. The shutdown was the culmination of months of turmoil, which started in March when politicians failed to agree on a deficit reduction plan, triggering public spending cutstotaling $85 billion. Most federal science programs were slashed. In the latest issue of Index on Censorship, the international freedom of expression magazine, Gretchen Goldman of the Union of Concerned Scientists discusses the impact on the scientific community. Eleven days into the shutdown, the UCS asked 20,000 of its members how it had affected their work. Scientists at all levels of seniority responded with stories of frustration and obstruction. Read more.