EDITORIAL

Rethinking the Science System

Science  11 Nov 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6057, pp. 738
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215299

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Summary

As the U.S. budget environment for science and technology (S&T) threatens to get worse, it is essential for the scientific community to go beyond just advocating for special consideration. There is a strong case for maintaining investments in S&T as a foundation for long-term economic growth and social well-being. But when resources are constrained, it is essential that they be used effectively and efficiently to avoid losing scientific momentum and to ensure that society will benefit maximally from S&T's potential. The scientific community cannot afford to simply adapt passively to reduced budgets. The impact of impending cuts can be at least partially mitigated by some fundamental rethinking of the ways in which S&T are both funded and conducted. Although the United States is used as the example here, the same issues will apply in many other parts of the world.