I know you love science cos you read this blog right, and I am, nominally at least, a scientist. Right now science in the US is directly under attack from a deliberate and cold-blooded anti-science cadre in the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.
The BadAstronomer has written a series of posts (for e.g. here and links within) about how anti-science (and usually, pro-evangelical) business interests are damaging many of the important committees in Congress. Climate change is held to be a lie, teaching of evolution is attacked in public schools and now the National Institutes of Health budget is under seige too. Inspired by m'learned Collague the deliciously shoetastic Dr. Isis, I urge you to help in the fight. My former LabSpaces colleague Thomas Joseph paints a frightening perspective from the micro/agro point of view and is well worth reading. And my Scientopia Sister-at-Arms, Arlenna, raises the alarm over at ChemicalBiLOLogy.
Anti-science politicians want to cut the largest healthcare research budget in the nation, and at the same time ruin the careers and research of hundreds, if not thousands of hard working academic scientists. Most of the scientists affected will be younger and more junior academics, either just starting out their own independent careers after a decade or more of servitude, or else it will effect those still in servitude - postdocs.
The vast majority of postdocs in the US are paid from "R01" research grants, and it is these that will take a hit. if the NIH bugdet is cut then contuning funding amounts will be cut too. This means there will not be enough money to keep folks employed in many situations.
I'm not arguing about jobs though, I'm arguing about lives. the lives of these dedicated and exceptionally taltened young mena dn women and the invaluable research they perform. Most of the top quality biomedical research conducted in the US is performed by postdocs. Already over worked, under paid and in many cases without any benefits or even health insurance, these tens of thousands of dedicated scientists *do* the research that makes *your* world a better place.
This email arrived today from Dr. William Talman, a jolly nice chap and President of the Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB). Among many other things FASEB is an active and vigorous advocate on our behalf. I urge you to read Dr. Talman's email, then click the link and find out how to CALL your local representative.
Don't be scared. They work for us. We voted them in. Do it. As soon as you can. Please.
$1.6 Billion Cut Proposed for NIH: Call Your Representative TODAY!
For months the new House leadership has been promising to cut billions in federal funding in fiscal year (FY) 2011. Later this week the House will try to make the rhetoric a reality by voting on HR 1, a “continuing resolution” (CR) that would cut NIH funding by $1.6 billion (5.2%) BELOW the current level – reducing the budget for medical research to $29.4 billion!
We must rally everyone – researchers, trainees, lab personnel – in the scientific community to protest these draconian cuts.
Please go to [THIS LINK] for instructions on how to call your Representative’s Washington, DC office today! Urge him/her to oppose the cuts to NIH and vote against HR 1. Once you’ve made the call, let us know how it went by sending a short email to the address provided in the call instructions and forward the alert link to your colleagues. We must explain to our Representatives how cuts to NIH will have a devastating impact on their constituents!
William T. Talman, MD