Scientists Bristle at Trump Budget’s Cuts to Research

By HENRY FOUNTAIN and JOHN SCHWARTZ

Before he became president, Donald J. Trump called climate change a hoax, questioned the safety of vaccines and mocked renewable energy as a plaything of “tree-huggers.”

So perhaps it is no surprise that Mr. Trump’s first budget took direct aim at basic scientific and medical research.

Still, the extent of the cuts in the proposed budget unveiled early Thursday shocked scientists, researchers and program administrators. The reductions include $5.8 billion, or 18 percent, from the National Institutes of Health, which fund thousands of researchers working on cancer and other diseases, and $900 million, or a little less than 20 percent, from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which funds the national laboratories, considered among the crown jewels of basic research in the world.

The White House is also proposing to eliminate climate science programs throughout the federal government, including at the Environmental Protection Agency.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. @OP – Still, the extent of the cuts in the proposed budget unveiled early Thursday shocked scientists, researchers and program administrators.

    Those darned researchers just keep using science and very inconveniently debunking Trump’s “alternative facts”!

    Of course we all know that America is the centre of the Universe AND the fount of all knowledge, so if scientific information is suppressed in the USA, nobody in the rest of the world will be able to find any!! 🙂 – Or perhaps it is just that Trump’s “talented best team ever”, thinks that is so?

    However the Red-Neck, Trump cheerleading supporters, probably won’t be looking any further than Faux and Dimbart, so what goes on in the rest of the world will have little effect on their thinking! –
    As the false-news from that “record holder for the number of expert conference votes of no confidence in his abilities” – UK MP Michael Gove announced to his sheeple followers in the media –
    “The public have had enough of all these experts”!

  2. It is very clear that the carbon industry stooges are in charge of the White House, and playing politics with scientific evidence denial!

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/01/trump-officials-suspend-plan-delete-epa-climate-web-page

    Trump administration officials appear to have walked back plans to scrub climate change references from U.S. EPA’s website.

    “We’ve been told to stand down,” an EPA employee told E&E News today. That new directive comes after staff were told yesterday to remove the agency’s climate change page from its website, worrying climate change activists and sending data specialists scrambling to download files.

    The backlash that erupted after reports surfaced last night that the climate page would be eliminated may have prompted administration officials to change course. News of the plans was first reported last night by Reuters. EPA’s press office did not respond to requests for comment today.

    It’s unclear whether the agency’s climate page will remain indefinitely, or only temporarily. “It’s not imminent,” the EPA staffer said of its removal.

    Just yesterday, staffers had gotten opposite instructions. “The word that came down was ‘scrub,'” that employee said. The directive was “clearly from the political people. … It came from the White House.”

    The controversy over the climate change page comes after EPA was directed to halt its social media and scale back communications with the press. The Trump administration removed the White House climate change website on its first day in office. EPA career staffers, former agency employees and environmentalists view the changes as a troubling sign of how the new administration plans to deal with climate change policies and the agency’s workforce.

    The directive to remove the climate change information didn’t sit well with career employees, the EPA staffer said today. It’s “world class” data, and a lot of work went into making it accessible to the public. “And it’s true,” the source added.

    As of press time, EPA’s climate change website remained in place, featuring data about last year being the warmest on record, the health impacts of climate change and interactive maps that allow users to see the local impacts of a changing climate.

    I don’t think this is a change in Trump’s policy! – Just a short term knee-jerk reaction to hostile media comment and the pro-science march!

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