Science policy news weekly update: March 31, 2017

The ASBMB’s Public Affairs Department encourages all readers of the Policy Blotter to alert the office about interesting and relevant articles. Please send tips to astothert@asbmb.org.

The ASBMB’s policy analyst, André Porter, gives details on the Trump administration’s proposed FY17 cuts to the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Trump administration proposes more cuts to FY17 research-funding spending

The ASBMB’s policy fellow, Andrew Stothert, gives a brief overview of a recent hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding federal funding of cancer research.

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing: “Federally funded cancer research: coordination and innovation”

The ASBMB’s director of public affairs, Ben Corb, provides the ASBMB’s response to the Trump administration’s proposed FY17 cuts to the NIH and NSF.

ASBMB responds to Trump budget proposal that threatens funding for 2,000 research projects

 

In addition to President Donald Trump’s previously released budget proposal calling for an about 18 percent cut to the NIH’s budget in 2018, Trump is now calling for a $1.2 billion cut in 2017. Moreover, Trump wants a $350 million cut to the NSF’s budget in 2017. This news has only added to the anxiety the scientific community has felt since Trump took office in January. While many in the scientific community were optimistic that the new administration would hold scientific research and discovery in high regard, these proposed cuts clearly show the administration has little interest in progressing biomedical research. However, as we have previously mentioned, Trump’s proposals are merely suggestions, and ultimate appropriations power resides with the U.S. Congress, where the NIH has historically garnered strong support from both sides of the aisle.

Donald Trump aims for $1.2 billion NIH cuts this year (FierceBiotech)

Trump budget cuts could hit research universities hart (Washington Post)

That $1.2 billion cut to the NIH this year? Going nowhere, key GOP congressman says (STAT *Subscription Required)

 

Despite all of Trump’s campaign promises to “make America great again” the administration seems to be targeting the scientific agencies that have for years been at the forefront of American innovation and national competitiveness. Investments in scientific and biomedical research have time and time again proved to be contributors to domestic security. Whether it is through environmental protection or discovering new therapies and treatments for diseases, sustained federal investments in scientific research benefits America. Despite this, the Trump administration is requesting massive cuts to the budgets of the nation’s federally funded scientific agencies. In addition, the administration still has some 40 vacancies for top government science positions, including the role of presidential science adviser. Moreover, the Office of Science and Technology Policy currently has only one staffer with a policy degree. The New York Times editorial board recently penned an opinion piece observing the actions of the Trump administration as nothing less than war on science.

The Trump Administration’s war on science (NY Times)

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