“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” -Carl Sagan
The President of the United States just released his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and there are some big losers in the scientific world. The EPA, the NIH, NASA Earth Science and many other organizations that exist for the benefit of America and all of humanity are poised to lose a significant amount of federal funding. This doesn’t simply affect the scientists who lose their jobs.
A significant fraction of the scientists and engineers pictured here, in the 2016 installation of the final mirrors, were replacement hires for the originals who were laid off five to six years prior. Image credit: NASA.
If we take as a given that the projects that these organizations invest in are vital at some level, and that they will need to be accomplished at some point, we’re actually making it far more expensive in the long run. The loss of expertise, the cessation of production and the exodus of the team that would provide scientific continuity are all extremely costly, and will make all of these projects ...