Target: Speaker of the House John Boehner
Goal: Do not cut funding for vital scientific research, including cancer research
Due to the $1 trillion budget cuts passed earlier this year to avert the fiscal cliff, funding for vital scientific research has been drastically reduced, resulting in layoffs and laboratory closings across the nation. With the United States budget system faltering, congressional discussions about next year’s budget have brought about the possibility of cutting lab funding even more. Without federal funding, less work is being done to find cures for diseases, including cancer. We cannot afford to pass these budget cuts, as they will gravely affect our country’s future.
As a direct result of spending cuts, half of the labs that receive federal funding for scientific research have laid off a significant amount of their researchers. The University of Chicago alone has been forced to shut down three labs that worked to find cures for cancer and gastrointestinal diseases. Promising results are being delayed across the field because of closings like theirs, and what’s more, young and talented scientists have become discouraged and left the field.
Competition to receive funding in the wake of budget cuts have also affected laboratory productivity. Because it is so difficult to receive enough funding for a whole project, scientists have been spending more time filling out paperwork and less time performing actual research. Without research, we have no progress toward finding important cures for the sick.
Scientists depend on reliable sources of funding to produce tangible results. However, Congress is entertaining the idea of taking away even more funding for laboratories, leaving no room for advancements in scientific research for cancer cures. Researchers are already working on an impoverished budget. Urge senators not to reduce funding for scientific research any further.
Dear Speaker of the House,
As you and your colleagues are gearing up for more spending cuts in the coming year, we urge you to reconsider the allotted amount given to the field of scientific research. Our nation’s scientists work hard to find necessary cures for cancer and other grave diseases, and need federal funding to perform their work. Without those funds, we will not see promising results, nor will we be able to help those who get sick in the future as a result.
The impoverished budget given to laboratories in the past year cannot be reduced any further. We are already seeing closings of important labs and layoffs in those that stay open. Promising young scientists are leaving the field because they cannot complete their work. You are raising the competition to receive funding, and that is creating more paperwork for scientists who should be spending time achieving results. We urge you not to lower laboratory spending limits any more than they have already been.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rhoa Baer via Wikimedia