New report surfaces impact of sequestration on federally funded scientists

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 29, 2013

“Unlimited Potential, Vanishing Opportunity highlights the data gathered from a survey of over 3,700 scientists from all fields of research. The survey was conducted by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and 15 partner organizations during the summer. This report chronicles the effects of federal budget cuts on the American research enterprise from the perspective of the individual scientist. The release of the report is also the subject of a story by Sam Stein in the Huffington Post. In a news release, ASBMB Public Affairs Director Benjamin Corb said, “For the first time, we are able to definitively tell the story of the federally funded scientist. The data show that deep cuts to federal investments in research are tearing at the fabric of the nation’s scientific enterprise while having a minimal impact on overcoming our national debt and deficit problems.” The data paint a grim picture for scientists conducting federally funded research. 80 percent of survey respondents report spending more time writing grants now than in 2010, but 67 percent of respondents are receiving less grant money than in 2010. Nearly half of all respondents have laid off researchers or expect to soon, while 55 percent have a colleague who has lost his/her job or will soon.”

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