An Open Letter to Pres. Trump: Will a 20% Budget cut to NIH result in a 200% cut to Progress??

Dear Mr. President,

I was dismayed when I read today of the proposed budget cuts to Funding organizations like the NIH & Department of Energy’s Office of Science, among others. My dismay was fueled by the recognition not only of the decreased funding options that will cripple scientists and trainees like myself for years to come, but also because of the casually implied erasure of the importance of STEM as a whole.

I would like to posit that “Making America Great Again” will be difficult when advances in Science and Technology development are stifled. According to Google’s dictionary, “Science” is defined as “The Intellectual and Practical Activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”. In order to engage with the world and establish oneself as a global leader, one has to not only embrace but excel in any and all efforts involved in studying our physical and natural world in a systematic and structured way. You cannot lead in a world that you don’t understand.

These proposed budget cuts will inhibit the progress of scientists who are studying questions to understand, for example: 1.) The galaxy in which our planet and others reside (Astronomy, and Astrophysics) 2.) How we affect the stability and longevity of the earth that we live on (Geology Environment, and Earth Sciences) 3.) The animals and living organisms around us (Ecology) 4.) How we can eradicate disease by understanding the basic mechanisms of life at the cellular and molecular level (Pharmacology, Cell Biology/Genetics/Biochemistry/Biophysics), and 5.) How to harness and analyze large amounts of Information about the world we live in (Computer Science).

So, Mr. President, I ask: How can a nation compete on a global scale if the resources that allow Scientists to help us all better understand our world are compromised??

Signed,
A Very Concerned Student.