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The tea party shutdown screwed up We the People in many ways and science is no exception. Of course for these ultraconservative clowns, science is the enemy, so screwing it up isn't a bug, it's a feature:
Scientists contacted for this article say publicly and privately that the worst lasting effect that the shutdown has on science might be the blow to morale and the psychological toll it will take. Postdoctoral researchers, who have to publish to get jobs in academia later, will face delayed responses to data requests, grant applications, or literature reviews. Grad students working on dissertations and theses might have to change their research topics or push back their timelines. Scientists have missed major annual conferences during the shutdown, which may not sound like a big deal. But these meetings often are the only chances researchers have all year to meet colleagues and share their latest work. Shepherd tells PM that a major meteorology conference took place this week in Charleston, S.C., but most National Weather Service employees couldn't go.


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Comment Preferences

  •  They can't even spell science let alone (10+ / 0-)

    understand the implications to it.  All they know is snowflake babies and climate change denial.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House. Warren 2016

    by dkmich on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 06:05:24 AM PDT

    •  The Gospel according to Texas Board of Education (6+ / 0-)

      “The meaning of life is to find it.”

      by ArcticStones on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 06:33:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The specifically anti-science element of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rl en france, RiveroftheWest

      American anti-intellectualism is not a new thing. For example, there is this poem by Walt Whitman, in which he provides an affected, artsy example of the "Duh, wow, man!" way of considering the universe (IMNSHO):

      WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer;
      When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
      When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
      When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
      How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
      Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
      In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
      Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
      However, The American right has become virulently and dangerously aggressive in its anti-intellectualism in general and its anti-science attitudes specifically. They routinely demonstrate that they have little or no use for objective reality, and that Ideological Soundness/Theological Correctness are what matters to them.

      The more people I encounter, the more I appreciate our cats.

      by Old Sailor on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:51:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Learning to hate learning, how about learning (11+ / 0-)

    to despise deliberate ignorance.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 06:14:32 AM PDT

  •  Think scientists' concerns are overblown (8+ / 0-)

    Speaking from personal experience, so this is anecdotal.  But I think their worry (about the shutdown de-incentivizing people to choose science/research as a career) is overblown.  I have worked in healthcare and biotech for years and a part of my job is to help with employee recruiting.

    We always see the opposite problem - there are more aspiring r&d folks than we have jobs for, and we have a LARGE R&D dept.  At the science job fairs where we participate, this is a common theme.  And when i suggest to some of the applicants that they consider  OTHER scientific jobs at the company (outside of R&d) many if not most of them decline to apply.  They have dreamt their whole lives about being a researcher and making a scientific discovery.  

    So again, anecdotal, but my experience leads me to believe that this group already cannot be deterred by lack of jobs in the field.  They are committed and dedicated.  I don't think a few week shutdown is going to deter that type of drive or prevent r&d dreamers from entering the field.

    Nothing is as evilly imaginative as the mind of a teenage gamer. -- Sychotic1

    by Sarea on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 06:20:53 AM PDT

    •  By the way, I'm not saying the shutdown didn't (4+ / 0-)

      Have lasting impact on this field, b/c obviously it did.  But I don't think it will deter ppl from seeking a career in the field.

      Nothing is as evilly imaginative as the mind of a teenage gamer. -- Sychotic1

      by Sarea on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 06:22:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The article was talking about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rl en france

      choosing those fields in public service specifically -- not in private enterprise.  The same thing has happened in public education.  Public school teachers have been so vilified, why would anyone want to be one?  Yet private school teachers are somehow seen as more worthy (in the eyes of the wingers).

      “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

      by musiclady on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 08:26:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not necessarily (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Neon Vincent


      I was at seminars at Stanford Medical School and UCSF Mission Bay this winter when sequester measures were implemented. Cuts to R01 grants became very painful.

      As one of the startup entrepreneurs with gray hair (gee, when did that happen!) in the room one of the faculty advisors invited me into a discussion with several of his grad students.

      Knowing I had cofounded both software and medical device startups, they asked if there was a future for them in life science.

      Having been through (we're still in) the painful desert of a collapse in venture capital funding for life science following the financial collapse, especially medical devices where P/E multiples are much lower than pharma, I had to give my honest opinion.

      I suggested that if they had a need to make money, they should consider getting into software and mobile apps, and perhaps mobile apps for healthcare. The barriers to entry are very low, the funding is robust, the competition is varied, but their scientific and medical training would be of value.

      If, however, they were literally on an passionate and unstoppable quest to improve medicine, they would not be satisfied with anything but pursuing their life science research regardless of the struggle. Live with the satisfaction that you may one day change the world, but it will require decades of sacrifice and poverty.

      I suggested that if they went into life science based upon passion, they would not be satisfied in investment banking, no matter how much money they made. They'd feel they had sold their soul, ending up bitter alcoholics.

      I recently ran into several staff with PhDs, MS, etc who had had their well established life science firm acquired by a huge company, but their world leading R&D group had been literally thrown in the trash can, everyone laid off or given an opportunity to relocate to the opposite coast for unknown futures.  I believe about 2% took the deal.

      The irrational shutdown, sequester, $245 million cutbacks to the FDA budget, and similar nonsense is very discouraging for rational people. You are literally at the whims of idiots and sociopaths. It reminds me of Pol Pot or Mao's Cultural Revolution, where extremists foment mass hysteria.

  •  The Popular Mechanics article is a (7+ / 0-)

    real eye opener. Everybody should read it. I am going to use it in my classes. During the 2012 election I met a few scientists who were voting for Romney because of his "fiscal discipline" I would love to see what they think now. We need to keep focusing on the effects of the shutdown. And we need to keep emphasizing  that all Republicans in Congress are responsible for the shutdown...not just the Tea Party.

    The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. -Nelson Mandela

    by Tchrldy on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 06:25:03 AM PDT

  •  Thanks DarkSyde nt (4+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 06:30:31 AM PDT

  •  since Plato, Conservatives have feared Science (9+ / 0-)

    it undermines their authority

  •  I usually like the articles you link, but the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Spross article borders on offensive in its denialism.

    Global warming is different from acid rain and other environmental problems in fundamental and important ways.

    For one, earlier efforts could be very successful locally.   Compare the air in Beijing with that in Chicago (one of the dirtier  cities in the US WRT air pollution) and you can see that to be true.  There is no local success in global warming and modern economies have spread around the world.

    For another, the fight requires change on a level far exceeding those of earlier efforts.  We must stop using fossil fuels.  We can't just hang a few thingamabobs on motors and make the problem go away.  To get where we need to be quickly, we  would need to effectively shutter the American automobile industry and confiscate most of the cars on the road.

    These are big things, far more wrenching than anything that has come before.

    We can make the changes that need to be made -- AND -- we can improve (not merely preserve) quality of life with a vibrant economy.

    It's going to be hard.  It's going to take heads banging into walls in frustration.  It's going to take some surprises.
    But -- it can work out.

    Making light of the magnitude by pretending there is nothing new here and that things will just work out is a disservice to everyone.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 06:33:20 AM PDT

  •  Shutdown impact on NIH grant review (14+ / 0-)

    There were over 200 grant review meetings affected by the shutdown. Those that were cancelled by the shutdown are now being pushed back to the Feb/Mar review cycle. This means an extra four month wait for scientists to know if they have a chance of being funded (based on the score they receive during review). In the current funding climate (abysmal already), this delay, and the effects on scores that doubling up of reviews into one cycle may have, could be devastating to many labs.

    Disclosure: a review meeting for one of my grants was cancelled during the shutdown, therefore, my lab is directly impacted.


    "..wearing badges is not enough, in days like these." B. Bragg

    by sciencegirl on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 06:36:56 AM PDT

    •  Adding, NIH in FY2013 (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sciencegirl, koNko, LilPeach, rl en france, 1BQ

      took a 5 percent hit as a result of the sequester.

      Thank you.

      We've reached the point where we're unfazed by things that should shake us to the core. –Bill McKibben (Volva Award recipient)

      by ume on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:21:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the cuts are likely to keep coming (4+ / 0-)

        There are more cuts expected in January 2014. It is already untenable, and getting worse. I started my lab in 2006 and feel like the odds of success have been stacked against me  and anyone else who started within a few years on either side of this time. I have done OK given the circumstances until now, but the funding I have earned is running out. I am losing hope that I will be able to keep the research in my lab  going.

        "..wearing badges is not enough, in days like these." B. Bragg

        by sciencegirl on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:42:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Comment to my FB friends (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor, koNko, RiveroftheWest

    Remember how the idiots claimed this was a "slim down"? Bullshit. No big deal for the anti-science idiots. These are the people that deny evolution, climate change, etc. Yet people cling to this intellectually lazy meme that everyone in Congress is bad. They're not. Do your homework.

  •  Testing kindergarteners (5+ / 0-)

    and making them cry - how I wish the education grifters would all be required to take tests on what they know about education.  Then denied funds because they do so badly.

    Of course, most of them would probably cheat, since that's their MO anyway.

  •  Coincidentally I was affected by this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurel in CA, RiveroftheWest

    I have a project that involves some work with NIST and just happened to ship some items for testing the day before the shutdown. Hopefully, they will finally receive the shipment Monday and we can stop paying the high warehousing fees charged by express shippers.

  •  Question for astronomy geeks... (0+ / 0-)

    last week when the full moon rose over the bluff to the east of my house it had an aura going in the y direction but not the x. I've never seen anything like that. Does anyone know what that glow is called, or have some site suggestions where I can look it up?

    Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

    by Ice Blue on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:42:14 AM PDT

  •  Tea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Tea has caffeine--caffeine harms sleep--people who drink too much tea are crazy?  

    When you sleep, your brain undergoes a mop-up process that removes waste products linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia, according to new research published yesterday in the online version of Science.
    Politicians who go to tea parties need to break that addiction.

    Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

    by melvynny on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:51:26 AM PDT

  •  So excited about the sleep study. my new postdoc (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rl en france, Laurel in CA

    is from that lab:)

    "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

    by UTvoter on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 08:33:57 AM PDT

  •  why we (shouldn't) fight (sleep) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    When you sleep, your brain undergoes a mop-up process that removes waste products linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia, according to new research published yesterday in the online version of Science.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 09:43:11 AM PDT

    •  Or to put it another way, when you sleep (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurel in CA, RiveroftheWest

      your brain de-frags.

      BTW, most animals need REM sleep. It was once thought that horses could get by with just dozing while standing--they have the ability to "lock" their legs in an upright position, so to speak and doze--but now we know they need about 20 minutes of REM sleep per 24 hours, and they can't get than unless they can lie down. Without it, they eventually start losing their balance and falling.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 10:46:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am sad that the much of the summer research (3+ / 0-)

    season at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station that started in September was canceled because of the shutdown, along with McMurdo and Palmer Stations. This includes a wide range of activities, from investigations of high-altitude weather over Antarctica to the Ice Cube Neutrino Telescope. Researchers who were evacuated and cannot go back have to decide what to do with themselves for the rest of the season, when they have no data to gather and no scheduled classes to teach.

    McMurdo investigates ice melting and ocean conditions, among other things. Palmer does marine biology and much more.

    The National Science Foundation is determining now which programs can be restarted, and for which it is already too late.

    I am, of course, also sad for the hit to the entire global economy. But Obamacare came out from the repeal/delay/defund fever more popular than ever, even with the glitches on the Web site.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 11:06:12 AM PDT

  •  Even in the halcyon days, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    science was a tough avocation because research money was always tight and competition fierce.  Now it is becoming impossible.

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