I’ve had 12 years of schooling, 13 years of university education, 4 years of postdoctoral training and have been busting my metaphorical balls during the first few years of my faculty position to be a kickass basic scientist. My research is supercool and will revolutionize the way physiologists think about stuff. In several years time, the results of my research will have a dramatic impact on our ability to prevent and treat some of the common diseases and disorders that are crippling our health care system.
But here’s the thing ... the research I do is expensive. Every time we walk into the lab, it costs money. The peeps who work in my lab need to get paid the pittance I give them so that they can eat. The animals we use don’t appear out of thin air and the little suckers need to eat, too (although I don’t have to pay them, thankfully). Kickass, supercool basic science research isn’t cheap.
So you think it’s ok to slash funding to federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health? Do you understand the impact the NIH has had on today’s health care? And the impact that cutting today’s budget will have in 10 years time? How about 20 years? Basic science research that is going on today will likely not make it to new preventative and/or treatment therapies for at least a decade or two, but some of them will. Every time you or a member of your family see your doctor, visit the hospital or go to the pharmacy, you’re reaping the benefits of basic science that happened in the past. You probably won’t be around long enough to be affected by your plan to cut NIH funding today. But your kids will. And your grandkids.
As for myself, as someone who FINALLY got a fundable score on an NIH grant, if you cut this year’s budget, I will not receive the money I need to keep my research going and you will smash my career into tiny little pieces. That will mean that 29 years of education will be wasted. And you will never get to see the results of my kickass research. Ever. It will be worth the investment. I am worth the investment. Believe me. Your kids and grandkids will benefit from it.
Thank you for your consideration.
That is all.