Originally posted by Astronomer70
kallikak losing research scientists is not an easy thing to make up. If forced to leave, or abandon their projects, they generally end up working for
the DoD or on someone else's project and they don't come back for years--sometimes never.
Look, I'm not saying this is okay. I'm saying it's reality. There are lean times and there are bountiful times for scientists, just like any other
industry. It's the way new ideas and projects, etc. that are deemed important are ushered in and/or maintained, and other ideas and research projects
are phased out. Again, I'm not saying it's good... just that it's reality.
I don't know if you've ever worked in science or not, but 'losing' research scientists is a dodgy issue. I've worked in science for quite some
time, and I've moved from job to job. Grants come and grants go, and when you're dependent on such funding for your income, the realities of job
security can be very much, in your face. IOW, most scientists are acutely aware of the pitfalls of competing for and working under grant
I worked for a company that not only lost a grant, but actually had their funding cut in the middle of the project. You collect your notebooks, and
start looking for other avenues... it's the reality of the industry. It's not sabotage.
BTW, scientists that lose their grant money don't generally end up working for the DoD.
Imagine for a moment what would happen if suddenly the entire NASA budget were cut. A greatly talented pool of dedicated people would disperse
and this nation's capability to operate in space would largely be gone. If, the following year, the budget was suddenly restored, it would be too
late. The people to make it all happen would be gone--many for good. That would be a problem for the entire country for many years.
Perhaps, but that's not going to happen. They're not going to cut the entire NASA budget, and it's not realistic to propose it. Those aren't the
type of programs that are going to be cut. And when their budgets are reduced, they cut the scientific staff last. The projects and the people that
are going to be most affected are not large mechanisms like NASA... it's less of the small change kind of stuff... 200 million for studying the
cancer mechanisms, as opposed to 300 million in the past... It's the same game for the scientists really... but the competition has just been
increased. Additionally, when scientists lose federal funds, there are other options. They don't just give up and walk away... There are lots of rich
people looking to give away money, and a lot of scientists do recieve private funding.
All I'm saying is it's budget cuts, and a reality that scientists are somewhat accustomed to, it's not sabotage or some conspiracy.
And it's not like these scientists would just disappear. They just move on to different things. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, the
Universities are cranking out Ph.D.'s much faster than the job-market can keep up; it sucks
to have to apply for a job, knowing full well,
that literally 1600 other Ph.D.'s are also going to be applying, but it's reality, even if it sucks.
Now I realize a 3-4 percent budget reduction doesn't sound like much (and in the larger scheme of things it isn't), but as you must know, it
isn't like all the projects take an equal 3-4 percent cut, some just don't get funding at all. Therefore, on a smaller scale than my NASA example,
talent pools evaporate.
Hmmm... I didn't say anything about the cut not being much... I just said it's the name of the game... basically. But you're right some projects
just aren't funded further... but talent pools don't evaporate... talent or scientific expertise is just redistributed within the same field. When
some scientists source of funds dries up, and doesn't mean they're going to pack up and leave the country, it means they need to find a new job.