EDITORIAL

Iceberg Alert for NIH

Science  27 Jul 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6093, pp. 390
DOI: 10.1126/science.1226460

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Summary

A century ago, the unsinkable Titanic charged into a moonless night, full steam ahead. Today, unless it changes course to escape its own icebergs, the U.S. biomedical research enterprise hurtles toward a similar doom. The fiscal year 2012 budget of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) buys 18% less research than in 2004. On 2 January 2013, budget sequestration mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 could reduce NIH extramural funds still further, producing a staggering cumulative 41% decline in a single decade (in constant dollars, from 2004 to 2014), down to the level that NIH invested in 1997. In contrast, China's governmental support for biomedical research may double that of the United States, or even, in proportion to gross domestic product (GDP), quadruple it by 2017.*