Tuesday, June 17, 2008

f*ck the NIH!

During the 90s, there was a big push to increase NIH funding. Indeed, funding was doubled over the course of several years.

Well, the Bush administration has not only not kept up pace with the doubling, they've not even bothered to keep funding levels commensurate with the rate of inflation.

In other words: they are defunding the NIH.

Science Blogger DrugMonkey has the story.

A recent NEJM article shows how the recent spending cuts (and that's what freezing spending really is) have reversed the doubling to the point where the effect of the doubling years has effectively been undone. We are on target to revert back to the line of projected growth that the NIH would have been at had the doubling never occurred!


(And I say this not only as a former employee of the NIH who might have been kept on had the hiring freeze been in place. But it's worth including that caveat.)

1 comment:

Landru said...

I'm not defending the administration's spending policies, not for a second. But it's important to realize that it's not just NIH taking funding cuts, it's the whole DHHS. And in the context of funding other DHHS activities? NIH is a fucking hog, and stomps other important DHHS opdivs (sorry, DHHS-speak) under its gigantic saurian pigademic feet, creating a culture that sidesteps or ignores policies and practices (some good, some less so)and leaves the rest of us with well-fucked government-culture asses.

Relative to other government activities, DHHS rules. Relative to the rest of the Department, NIH is both a giant douche and a shit sandwich.