Target: Senator John Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Goal: Undo budget cuts that affect scientific research
Computer science researchers around the country are outraged by new federal budget cuts that will affect their research grants. Congress, always looking for ways to trim the budget, has decided to cut research funding from U.S. Networking Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD). The implications of these cuts go far beyond research grants however, and the repercussions will be seen in technology, education, and even the business community. The kinds of innovations that keep Americans ahead of the rest of the world will now have less governmental support, and that will impact the economy at large.
Our government has a yearly revenue in the trillions, and considering that much smaller and poorer nations can fund scientific research and education better than we can, it seems absurd that our elected officials can’t find anywhere else in the budget to make cuts. Industry experts have estimated that as much as two-thirds of the growth of U.S. GDP over the last 20 years is due to the computer science funding that has just been eliminated.
Funding for scientific research is often the first thing to get cut from government budgets because it is seen as not having a good return on investment. Scientists proclaim, however, that even when research fails to accomplish a particular goal, it still advances the entire field by showing us what is not possible, which is just as important as what is possible. Science is what brought the U.S. into the modern era, it is what defines a first world country from a third world country, and it has continually improved the conditions of human life over time. Sign the petition to demand that Congress reinstate these research funds and find budget cuts elsewhere.
Dear Senator Rockefeller,
Computer scientists all around the country are infuriated by a new round of budget cuts that will affect their research grants. Not only is cutting scientific research funding always bad idea, but in this particular case it will have a direct effect on the economy. Industry experts claim that the funding you have just cut from U.S. Networking Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) was responsible for nearly two-thirds of GDP growth over the last 20 years because of the huge advances in technology that it spurred.
Federal tax revenue came in at over two and a half trillion dollars for 2013. How can we remain the richest country in the world if we can no longer fund the research that got us there in the first place? There is no doubt that dividing up a budget is arduous and that many people will be unhappy no matter what; however, cutting funding from science and research fields that have brought us this far into the modern era is a profoundly shortsighted plan. Please reinstate these research funds.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Paul Keller via Flickr