The director of a federal Department of Energy laboratory in Ames calls the push in Congress for deep federal spending cuts a “major concern” for scientists in the United States. Alex King says the push to reduce funding to 2008 levels could mean fewer dollars for research across the U.S.
“The current mood for cutting the federal budget will undoubtedly affect funding for science in the U.S. and that is a major concern for us,” King said. “We believe the science as it’s being carried out today contributes to the viability of the U.S. going forward.” King estimates the Ames Lab could lose more than $4 million in federal funding if the cuts are approved.
“For us, that represents a small cut but compounded with inflation, it means we’ll be cutting staff and losing programs,” King said. “I know DOE labs around the country are seeing the same concerns.”
Since there’s usually a lag of 10 to 20 years before current research makes it to the market, he says the cuts would threaten future economic activity. He says some projects at the Ames Lab may be slowed down or postponed. Lab employees already are taking pay freezes for the next two years.