Deep cuts to US science budget

FYI, from The American Institute of Physics, reports today that the Trump administration has targeted federal science programs for significant reductions, which, FYI notes, “will not be evenly apportioned.” They go on to say,

The National Institutes of Health, for instance, is slated for a reduction of nearly $6 billion, or about 20 percent of its current budget. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science is on the hook for a $900 million, or 17 percent, reduction. Funding for the near-$300 million Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy would be zeroed out. NASA science programs, meanwhile, are targeted for only minor cutbacks, and at least one program, Planetary Science, would even see a funding boost….

Some agencies, notably the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, are not directly mentioned in the blueprint. The administration’s intentions for NSF and NIST, as well as for many programs within agencies that the blueprint does mention, may not be known until the release of the president’s full budget request, which is anticipated in May.

Energy and health evidently will take the biggest hits. The money that is saved will presumably be put toward a $50 billion increase in the Defense budget. To paraphrase something I think I heard on the radio today, they will not fight Zika until the disease crosses our borders and enters the country – by which time it will be far too late. They will also find, in case it is not obvious, that it is easier to close an agency than to start it up again from scratch.