There has been much discussion in the comments of our recent posts here and here on the stimulus package, the gist of which seems to be that science shouldn’t be part of the stimulus, since it doesn’t effectively create jobs and boost the economy. I would argue that not only does science funding directly translate into cash infusions into the economy (much more effectively than tax cuts, for example), but it also helps boost the economy over the longer term (which is arguably just as important). Mark Westneat, Pritzker Director of the Biodiversity Synthesis Center at the Field Museum in Chicago, has written a nice piece addressing the immediate stimulus from science funding. As he puts it, “scientific research is basically all about hiring people and buying stuff”.
CV readers may be getting sick and tired of hearing all about the unfolding funding drama in Washington. Unfortunately, the decisions by these 100 individuals will have tremendous repercussions, not only this year, but potentially for the foreseeable future (since they set the tone for science spending in an era of immense budgetary pressure).