Society

Nearly One in Five Scientists Are Leaving the US and Sequestration Behind for Better Funding

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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Nearly one in five scientists in the United States plan to move overseas in search of better funding.

With less federal help than they had three years ago, about 20 percent of scientists from across the country are ready to take there chances elsewhere, according to a study led by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). The report shows that years of decline, made worse by the sequester, has spelled disaster for science, the Huffington Post reported.

“Globally, the United States invests more real dollars in research and development than any other country,” the report said. “However, in terms of percentage of gross domestic product, the United States is reducing its investment in scientific research. In fact, of the 10 countries investing the most money in scientific research, the United States is the only country that has reduced its investment in scientific research as a percentage of GDP since 2011.”

ASBMB collected responses from more than 3,700 scientists from 50 states. Many said they spend more time now applying for grants than they did in 2010, but they are less likely to secure one. They found 67 percent received less federal grant money.

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Spending allocations for university research is not the only thing in decline. Scientists are feeling the squeeze as the National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, National Security Agency and Department of Defense saw a 20-30 percent decrease in their budgets since 2004.

Sixty-eight percent of scientists who took the survey said they cannot move forward in their research because they do not have the funds. More than 50 percent said either they or a colleague faces job loss because of spending cuts. Eighteen percent said they are considering leaving the United States to continue their work.

Sources: Raw Story, Huffington Post