Science: Research Crisis: Cutting off the Plant at the Roots

Scientific activity cannot be turned on and off like a faucet.

—Richard M. Nixon

IT was a campaign statement, delivered in a speech on Oct. 5, 1968, and made a point that is no less true today. Yet now, in the near-unanimous opinion of U.S. scientists, President Nixon is ignoring what Candidate Nixon said. At a time when drastic, all-around budget trimming is obviously necessary —confronting the Administration with some painful choices—sensible scientists do not expect research appropriations to keep growing at the beanstalk rate of the early 1960s, but they have hoped to...

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