Sequestration, Science, and a Sustainable Economy

Mar 4, 2013

  Late Friday night, President Obama signed an order calling for $85 billion in federal budget cuts collectively known as sequestration. There’s been a lot of speculation about the impact of cuts on the military and entitlement programs like MediCare and Social Security. But the cuts will affect every aspect of the federal budget, including funding for science.

Scientific research and technological innovation are cornerstones of President Obama’s plans for economic recovery. Of course, government labs, academic research institutions, and private sector tech companies are also major players in Cape Cod’s economy. So we took a look at the role science plays in our economy and how the sequester will impact that.

By one estimate, R&D stands to take a $15 billion hit. That estimate comes from Chris Martenson, a neurotoxicologist turned economist and founder of Martenson argues that our current economic system is fundamentally unsustainable, and that science has a critical role to play in creating an economy that respects natural resource limitations while creating human prosperity.

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