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Nearly one in five scientists thinking of leaving the U.S. in search of better funding

By David Ferguson
Thursday, August 29, 2013 12:55 EDT
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Scientist in medical laboratory via Shutterstock
 
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A coalition of top scientific and medical research groups is set to release a study next week which reveals that nearly 20 percent of scientists in the U.S. are considering leaving the country in favor of better funding environments. According to Sam Stein at Huffington Post, the lead organization, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) found that the majority of U.S. scientists are receiving less federal help than they were three years ago in spite of the fact that they are spending more time writing grant requests in search of aid.

The ASBMB study confirmed that years of stagnant budgets and cuts to spending, now aggravated by the added stress of the sequestration, have gutted the sciences in the U.S. and now a large number of scientific professionals are looking for a way out.

“Globally, the United States invests more real dollars in research and development than any other country,” the study 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.”

Reductions in the spending allocations for universities are a primary area of decline, but scientists are also affected by cuts to the Department of Defense, the NSA, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy, all of which have declined 20 to 30 percent since 2004 when their budgets were not adjusted for inflation.

ASBMB surveyed more than 3,700 scientists from around the country. Eighty percent of respondents said that they are forced to spend more time writing grants now than they were in 2010, but 67 percent said that they receive less federal grant money. Sixty-eight percent of researchers said they don’t have the funds to expand their work beyond its current parameters and 55 percent said that they or a colleague faces job loss due to funding cuts. Eighteen percent of respondents said they are considering leaving the U.S. for countries that invest more in science.

Read the full ASBMB report, embedded below via .docstoc:

Science Survey

[image of scientist in medical laboratory via Shutterstock.com]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
 
 
 
 
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