Shutdown hits scientists hard, White House says
October 12th, 2013
08:19 PM ET
6 months ago

Shutdown hits scientists hard, White House says

Washington (CNN) - Nearly two weeks into a government shutdown, cuts and furloughs are crippling much of America's scientific research.

The White House issued a statement Saturday detailing which programs were being hardest hit in an effort to drive home how damaging the shutdown has been.


"The federal government’s research agencies have been largely shuttered, with scientists sent home and projects shelved," it read. "There are five Nobel Prize-winning researchers currently working for the federal government, all of whom are world-renowned scientists and leaders in their field. Four of them are currently furloughed and unable to conduct their federal research on behalf of the American public due to the government shutdown."

Among the agencies mentioned, the National Science Foundation has had it the worst. Ninety-eight percent of its employees have been furloughed, and the organization has not issued any new scientific research grants. The NSF funds non-medical science and engineering research and education programs across the country.

The National Institutes of Health, the nation's top medical research facility, has lost almost three-quarters of its staff, forcing it to turn away most new patients from its studies. Funding for the NIH became a focal point of debate early in the shutdown when reports emerged that children with cancer were being denied entry into potentially life-saving studies.

The majority of Americans may feel the greatest impact, however, from the cuts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Two-thirds of its personnel have been sent home, and as flu season begins, influenza monitoring has been cut back, according to the White House.

Still, the CDC will continue its most important role in monitoring any imminent threats to the public's health, and most flu vaccines are produced by private companies.


Filed under: Government Shutdown • White House
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Crop1981

    Don't forget the USDA-ARS which is conducting the research on insect, weed, and disease control, developing crops that better resist drought and heat stress, working to improve our diets and improving the health of our meat sources. The also help develop new industrial products and even contribute to developing new medicines. All of that has been halted by this needless shut down.

    October 13, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. Guest

    Nobel Peace Prize Winners–has turned into a joke.

    October 13, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. Tara

    I'm trying to write a grant currently... can't even look at the RFP because the website is down. This is completely stupid.

    October 13, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. labman57

    Hey, if the shutdown negatively impacts federally-funded scientific research, conservatives will regard it as a "win-win".

    After all, it's a moral sin for man to arrogantly presume to be able to solve many of society's and the planet's critical problems using the scientific process rather than relying upon prayer and divine intervention.

    October 13, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Thomas

    @eddhur
    i thought most of the work was done by university's
    =========

    Federal grants to University's ,

    October 13, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Thomas

    @HenryMiller
    Whatever these people were working on will still be there next week.
    ============

    You must have been in the same science class as Rick Perry at Texas A&M .

    October 13, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Just saying...

    The problem is, the TPs will be the more glad to hear these news! They don't care about science. Actually they don't want scientific facts, they might get in the way of their ignorant propaganda. So this as the obstructionism in Congress is playing in their hands!

    October 13, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Matt Thornton

    All this while the fed continues to buy 85 billion dollars in bonds every month. Do you know what the budget of the NIH is? Its 85 billion. The money that they are spending is not improving the economy, banks are sending it overseas to be shielded from tax liability. The amount of tax money evaded by the 'Double Irish' arrangement, is many times (35) the budget of the NIH. This was under President Obama's control, and he chose not to change it. With Citizen's United, the STOCK Act debacle, QE, and Jack Abramoff's book – One could make a good argument for revolution – at the very least term limits in congress.

    October 13, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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