Worries at the trough: NIH grantees sweat fiscal cliff

An upside of going over the fiscal cliff seems to be some defunding of NIH junk scientists-on-the dole.

“Starting December 3, the Coalition for the Life Sciences has sent a letter a day from a Nobel Laureate in either Chemistry or Physiology and Medicine. Twenty-one Nobel Laureates are engaged in this campaign. In these letters, each Laureate emphasizes the importance of federally funded research and the dire consequences of funding cuts. Of particular concern, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will face an 8.2% across-the-board cut starting January 1, 2013, if Congress and the Administration refuse to agree on solutions to the fiscal cliff.” [Coalition for the Life Sciences]


  1. This is good, although I think there will be some sort of additional funding provided to keep these scientists on the dole.

  2. The junk research may decrease, but, paradoxically, the junk science will increase. That is because greater competition for funds will result in increasingly wild claims in press releases demanding “more studies” be done on whatever. The press will predictably sensationalize them for public consumption.

  3. Phobia: A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear, such as a fear that Washington is going to cut spending.

    It ain’t going to happen.


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