Sequestration. It’s a dirty word for anyone whose job or paycheck relies on Federal funding. Scientists are particularly vulnerable because research plans tend to extend beyond just a few months. Often federal grant money is spent early in the funding period and a sudden budget cut could mean personnel cuts. The Budget Control Act of 2011 hoped to reduce the deficit by $1.2-$1.5 trillion dollars over the next ten years. As an insurance policy, the act included sequestration; meaning, should the committee fail to make a plan, a drastic, across the board cut would be enacted January 1, 2013.
So far, the committee has been unsuccessful in devising a plan to reduce the deficit. After the November election, Congress has been in a flurry trying to formulate a plan both parties support and get it approved in time. Continue reading “Doing Science on the “Fiscal Cliff””