Congress Cuts Geoscience Spending by 16%
Unfortunately, the House spending panel has made a very poor decision here and has decided that the Geosciences are not part of the "core essential sciences" that the National Science Foundation should focus on. This is a ~16% reduction in spending for these areas. So our government does not think that research on volcanic activity, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, natural resources such as the rare earth elements essential to our modern electronics & technology, energy resources such as oil, natural gas, uranium, and alternative energy sources, clean water resources, and many other topics, are not "core essential sciences". This is, of course, absurd - the geosciences are of utmost importance to human society. This follows on recent news where NASA was also told to spend less time & resources on studying the Earth.
If we were to speculate, we might guess that the reasoning behind these decisions is political opposition to climate change science. It could, of course, simply be gross ignorance. Either way, it is a failure of our politicians. Politicians need to stop telling scientists which topics in science are the important ones, and let scientists decide where scientific research funds should be spent. Representative John Culberson (R–TX), told ScienceInsider, “I want to make the hard sciences a priority—the math and physics and pure science. The fundamental mission of NSF should be those core sciences.”
Four of the NSF directorates (biology, engineering, computer science, and math and physical sciences) will receive 70% of the funding. The remaining will be split between the other two directorates (social, behavioral, and economic sciences (SBE), and geosciences). #geoscience #geology #climatechange #energy