US Federal Budget 2018 – Radical Cuts in Science

The state’s Environmental Agency, EPA, will get 30 percent less money. (DPA/Image Alliance/Johannes Schmidt-Tegge)

The 2018 federal budget, as envisioned by the new US administration, aims to “make the United States great again.” This is the subtitle of the proposal from the office of the President. It was already suspected that Donald Trump would not necessarily trust science. Physicist Rush Holt, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

“With this budget proposal, we got something concrete from the new government for the first time. Before that, it was just speculation. Now we see that the president wants drastic cuts in many scientific areas.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise: Trump wants to cut the National Institutes of Health budget by 20 percent, from about US$32 to US$26 billion. All the National Medical Research Institutes in the United States, which have about 20,000 employees, come together under the umbrella of specialized authority. Researcher Julie Foz of the University of Nebraska, who until recently was president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, warns that cuts on this scale will hamper the development of treatments:

“A 20 percent cut in the budget would be devastating for all projects, for example in genomics or cancer research. And some of them certainly cannot be sustained. Health institutes are also an important donor to universities. It is also likely that they will have to scale back research programs And cut jobs for doctors and scientists.”

30% less money for the government environment agency

Environmental and climate protection, shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources – do others consider this important: the new US president does not! He even suggests shutting down ARPA-E, the government’s advanced energy research projects agency, as Rush Holt explains:

See also  Stuttgart - Münster: The district advisory board criticizes the master plan - Münster

“According to the president’s plans, it will be canceled this year. A facility that researches batteries, smart grids, and superconductors, and is doing very well.”

30 percent less money for the state Environmental Protection Agency, 10 percent less for NOAA, and almost no budget changes at NASA. But they should only direct their eyes to outer space and not conduct “Earth-centric research,” as the budget proposal from the office of the president literally states.

The Trump administration wants to cut funding for four satellite missions to monitor Earth and climate, including a new observatory that measures greenhouse gas emissions from space.

attack on flag

Trump’s party also intends to stop providing financial support to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Republicans recently introduced a similar bill in Congress. Then American experts would practically not be able to work on global climate reports.

Michael Mann, one of the best-known American climate researchers, talks about an attack on science:

The intentions are clear: she no longer wants to monitor how the climate is changing. It’s like knowing someone has a fever. However you prevent him from taking his temperature. Other countries such as Japan, China or the European Union could try to build their own satellites. But this takes years. In the meantime, we will have huge observation gaps and we will not know exactly what is happening to the ice sheets and sea levels.”

But in all this, one should not forget that these are only proposals from the president. His budget must pass through Congress. Nor can Rush Holt imagine that deputies would approve of him in this way – also from his own experience. Holt himself has sat in the US House of Representatives as a Democrat for 16 years:

See also  NASA spacecraft Osiris Rex lands on asteroid Bennu on mission to collect dust | Science

“I expect the House and Senate to allocate more funding for science than the president is now suggesting. Republicans and Democrats in Congress have always been open to research. And they’re unlikely to follow the president.”

No one can say how big the budget cuts will be in the end. Barring that under President Donald Trump, they are more likely to do so. This is what most doctors and scientists in the United States assume.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.