Trump’s proposed budget would cut 19% funding for medical research

The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared published in The Scientist this morning. The article was written by Tracy Vence and can be read in its totality from http://bit.ly/2mN2HpC . A significant percentage of funding by NIH goes to autism research including enacting initiatives from its Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and maintaining a number of Autism Centers of Excellence around the nation. The budget cuts would severely crippled research overall and autism related initiatives in particular.

“As anticipated, the Trump administration’s budget proposal includes substantial cuts at federal research agencies, including the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If approved by Congress, the budget would enact cuts of $5.8 billion at the NIH—nearly 19 percent of the agency’s current budget—and more than $2.6 billion at the EPA—around 31 percent of the agency’s current allotment.”

“A $6 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health is unacceptable to the scientific community, and should be unacceptable to the American public as well,” Benjamin Corb, director of public affairs at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, said in a statement. “President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2018 spending plan erases years’ worth of bipartisan support for the NIH, and the American biomedical research enterprise, which has long been the global leader for biomedical innovation. Cuts this deep threaten America’s ability to [remain] a leader.”

7 responses to “Trump’s proposed budget would cut 19% funding for medical research

  1. If I swear in Spanish about it will my comments not be deleted?… This budget would be devastating to biomedical research. I might as well dust off my plans to open an ice cream store called Dulce de Leche, or get in shape so I can join the army or build walls, because that seems to be the only thing in the budget that will get funding.

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    • This is a death sentence for research within the USA. I am extremely worried for all gradate school students, postdocs, and academicians in general. Reminds me of a similar trend in Germany during the mid 1930’s when the so-called intelligentsia left the country looking for greener pastures. In the end the same expatriates brought Germany down.

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      • I’m wondering what countries you are speculating your compatriots might decamp to. In uk presently, Vice-Chancellors pay themselves salaries of Half-a-Million dollars pa, while many lecturers and highly qualified researchers are so poor they can’t even afford to buy a car or even decent space to put their pedal bike. Research appears to have become a sort of pyramid scheme, with much promised to the entrants, but who then find their investment of time and effort sorely betrayed.

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  2. While not wishing to declare myself an outright enthusiast for Mr Trump, or outright dis-enthusiast for medical research and its funding…..

    Nevertheless, there is a huge problem with money and research. The number of people with the exceptional ability to advance understanding rather than regress it is very small, and is not increased by any amount of funding. At best, the funding draws in a larger number of “professional researchers” thus tending to result in an overall lower standard of progress/regress.

    More critically, an activity ideally motivated by a pure wish to advance understanding and find genuine useful solutions, tends to be perverted by large funding into a professional gravy-train factory, distorted by competition for the most “funding-worthy” proposals, and distorted by a wish to keep in line with the mindset of the funders, and above all by a premium priority of avoiding actually finding simple honest useful solutions which would put an end to the “need” for all those professional “research career” jobs.

    All my own major research discoveries about autism (http://www.pseudoexpertise.com etc.) have been funded to the tune of precisely zilch dollars and zilch cents. If there were not so many millions paid to other “researchers”, my own great discoveries might be less concealed under some of the oceans of publish-perish PR blurbing from those others, notwithstanding that there is also some very meritable content among some of it.

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    • I also believe that there should be a re-structuring of our research institutes. The intramural program of th NIH is full of glorified white cows who have made their reputations based on the hundreds of millions the government has given them. Also the funding for research is probably lost or wasted 90% of the time. There should be a priority for those projects that can make a difference in patient’s life now. Also, more money should be devoted to individual efforts (RO1s) rather than collective efforts that belong to major academic centers. The latter proposals are usually cut and paste recycled efforts.

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      • One substantial part of the problem appears to relate to “prestigious” journals, and the notion that getting published (or cited) is meritorious per se. But if you get something trashy published then it should be a dis-merit. The thing is that the publishers wish to continue profitting from the prestigiousness of their journals, so they continue to support the “more publications=more merit” and “more citations=more merit” paradigms being applied by various controlling bigwigs. Also some dubious agendas being pursued or dis-pursued in shady high places.
        I discuss some such matters in my book but I have no experience of the insides of these controlling centres. Maybe others here could enlighten more than I can?

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