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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cuts loom for US science

In an ordinary year, a flat budget for the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be considered dire news. This year, it is far from the worst possible outcome. Hanging over the effective decrease in support proposed by the House of Representatives last week is the ‘sequester’, a pre-programmed budget cut that research advocates say would starve US science-funding agencies.
A sharply divided Congress is showing few signs that it can defuse the situation before the self-imposed fiscal time bomb explodes, in less than six months’ time. And even if Congress does manage to introduce last-minute legislation, as many observers expect, the sequester will have cast a shadow over the contentious process of funding science in a time of fiscal constraints — and in an election year.http://www.nature.com/news/cuts-loom-for-us-science-1.11057

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