May I direct your attention this way? If you really want to make a case that GW Bush has been hurting American science, look where it really counts: follow the money. The Scientific Activist has the numbers, and it’s rather dramatic how research funding has dwindled over the years.
C.K. Loo says
I guess all the money for blowing stuff up has to come from somewhere….
Dursun Sakarya says
Bush Co. hates science? But of course, reality has a Liberal bias.
So, the combined sum for the two types of grants is about the cost of 4 days war in Iraq, which is now running at about $200 million per day. Thank zeus we have our priorities straight.
There is a little game you can play to make you own war estimate costs.
Molly, NYC says
Haven’t you noticed? Contrary to their stated policies (the GOP equivalent of a magician’s misdirection; you can see how that one about “respecting human life” is working for them), Republicans love-love-LOVE spending our tax dollars– as long as it’s funnelled into the pockets of fellow Republicans.
There is no function of government so vital that these jamokes don’t consider it secondary to pork. Whole national departments (Defense, Homeland Security, eg), have been repurposed to this end.
Grants to scientific investigators don’t really lend themselves to that sort of vigorish. So from their POV, not much point in funding them.
If they were channelled through, say, the big pharma companies first–then you’d see funding increases.
Nick Anthis says
Let’s talk about value for money here. Almost any one of those R01 grants will produce something much valuable to society (not too mention something far less destructive) than that amount of money put toward the war in Iraq.
Nick Anthis says
Damn typos. That’s supposed to say “much more valuable”.
Uh, maybe I’m missing something here, but all I’m seeing is that in general, more money is being applied per grant to fewer grants, and 2005 was a bad year. Otherwise, the total amount of money awarded is just bouncing around both up and down.
jan andrea says
My husband travels to Goddard Space Flight Center every once in a while, and last time he went, people were really glum. You know the manned moon/Mars missions that Bush wants to do? Well, they got most of their funding from the earth sciences — Bush has contrived to cut almost all of NASA’s earth science stuff (because it’s mostly those inconvenient environmentalists, of course). Now, I’m sure the moon will be useful as a space station, some day, but the chances that we can get to Mars without being fried by solar radiation (from which we aren’t protected after we leave the Earth’s magnetosphere, and Mars hasn’t got one of those) are pretty darned slim. I’d love to live on Mars, but it’s a pipe dream at best, and cutting funding to study our planet to send humans to Mars is idiocy, in my opinion. There’s very little that robotic probes can’t do safer and cheaper. Then again, he’s got so little regard for post-birth human life, it probably doesn’t bother him much that he’d be sending astronauts to their deaths :P
Guerilla Art at Disney Land…
Although the Bush Administration richly deserves criticism for the last three NIH budgets, the situation between 1999 and 2003 was much more complicated than just “Bush bad.” In fact, Bush completed the five year doubling of the NIH budget that began under the last three budgets of the Clinton administration, one of the few good policy decisions he has made. The problem is, after that there was no plan to consolidate the gains and after 2003 the budget went first flat and then into decline.
One part of the problem is that univesities have become so dependent on NIH largesse that it is now expected that researchers will bring either all or significant fractions of their own salaries using grant support. Another part of the problem is that the NIH is enamored of funding more large multiinstitutional collaborative efforts, arguably at the expense of R01 grants to individual investigators.
Nick Anthis says
Uh, maybe I’m missing something here, but all I’m seeing is that in general, more money is being applied per grant to fewer grants, and 2005 was a bad year.
Not at all. The total funding for Type-1 grants has decreased steadily since 2002, so although there has been a slight increase in the value per grant, the total number of grants has fallen sharply. Since the number of applications received increases in most years, this means that success rates have dropped even more drastically (although success rates dropped in 2005 despite there being fewer applications than in 2004).
Hahaha…Bush is incompetent? You guys are just realizing this now? The United States is the laughing stock of the world for not only electing this dude in the first place, but re-electing him after such a dismal first term.
Lets take stock of the political failures under his watch.
No action at all taken on global warming.
Bin Laden still at large and active.
Come on America. No one will help you unless you help yourselves. Stop acting so dumb!!!
Dude. Get a grip. We KNOW. Over 60% know. And barely a majority elected him last time.
And we really don’t need an uppity foreigner telling us.
So fuck off.
And if you’re from England don’t forget that Blair is Bush’s bitch.
You also forget that, to keep the number of new R01s awarded from plunging even more precipitously, starting in 2005 the NIH instituted a policy of cutting new grants across-the-board even beyond the recommendation of the budget analysts who decide if the amount of money requested is reasonable for the work proposed. My grant, for instance, was cut a cool 23% right off the top. This year, I’m told, new grants are being cut 28%. Moreover, the funding for the second, third, fourth, and fifth years is also being cut. In my case, my second year budget was cut by 3%. I expect a bigger cut next year.
Okay, scientists: What are you doing to get the news out? Are you writing letters to the editor of your local paper? Are you rallying through town? In the absence of a two party system, it’s up to those affected by misgovernment to make their voices heard.