Friday action item: An awful budget, now with detail


On Fridays while the current administration is in office we’re posting small, concrete things you can do to help make things better. Got a suggestion for an Action Item? E-mail us!
There’s a detailed Federal budget proposal out this week, covering the Trump administration’s plans for the 2018 fiscal year. Have you called Congress about it? You should.
Detailed breakdowns have identified cruel cuts to the social safety net and a multi-trillion-dollar arithmetic error that make excellent reasons to oppose the plan all on their own. But there’s also piles of bad news for science:

We’ve also, for the first time, got a concrete proposal for the National Science Foundation’s budget — more than 11% lower than what it had in 2016 — to the lowest it’s been, in inflation un-adjusted dollars, since 2008. The spending plan NSF has prepared with that number in mind would reduce funding for graduate research fellowships, EPSCoR support for institutions in states that otherwise receive less NSF funding, and the research at undergraduate institutions (RUI) program, among others.
As we saw with the Trump proposal for continuing funding in 2017, this will almost certainly not pass Congress in its current state; but Congress can use every bit of encouragement we give it. Call!

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Assistant Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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