News & AnalysisScience Funding

U.S. Shutdown Ends, but Not Budget Anxiety

Science  25 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6157, pp. 410-411
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6157.410

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Summary

The end of a 16-day U.S. government shutdown on 17 October brought relief for many scientists, who were able to return to work and restart the grantmaking machinery at key science funding agencies. But the underlying political disagreement over how to reduce U.S. budget deficits continues—creating a great deal of concern about future spending levels on science. Research advocates face some shifting ground in Congress, which is trying to set overall budget levels for the 2014 fiscal year, which began on 1 October, and decide whether to continue the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester. The upshot for researchers could be that they'll have to cope with flat budgets—and compete with other special interests for a larger slice of a federal funding pie that isn't growing.