Cutting Science Funding Today Costs Us More Overall
“How much money will we save by cutting funding to the EPA? To NASA Earth Science? To the National Institutes for Health? Take all those numbers for all those organizations that the proposed federal budget would slash and add them up. Now, do the math on the other side. What’s the cost of environmental pollution? Of unclean, unsafe water? Of air that puts us at risk of health problems like asthma, lung disease and COPD? Of a loss of Earth monitoring for extreme weather, climate change, sea level rise, droughts, and natural disasters? Of the cessation of medical research, working to fight preventable diseases, and working to cure some of society’s greatest afflictions such as cancer, heart disease, alzheimers and more?”
The President of the United States just released his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and there are some big losers in the scientific world. The EPA, the NIH, NASA Earth Science and many other organizations that exist for the benefit of America and all of humanity are poised to lose a significant amount of federal funding. This doesn’t simply affect the scientists who lose their jobs. If we take as a given that the projects that these organizations invest in are vital at some level, and that they will need to be accomplished at some point, we’re actually making it far more expensive in the long run. The loss of expertise, the cessation of production and the exodus of the team that would provide scientific continuity are all extremely costly, and will make all of these projects cost us more than they would have overall. We saw this lesson firsthand just a few years ago with James Webb.