:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-31-2013
2013 was a tough year for American Science. The sequester and government shutdown did tremendous damage to American scientists and scientific progress in this glorious country. Nevertheless, the American spirit cannot be extinguished and our commitment to furthering the global body of scientific knowledge lives on. As Michael Shermer sings in the Anthem for Science
Science is the best tool ever devised for understanding how the world works
Let’s remain inspired and hope for a bright future in 2014.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 11-04-2013
The United Nations (UN) is working to ensure that the benefits of genetic resources are shared in a fair and equitable way via the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Nagoya Protocol was adopted in 2010 to provide a transparent legal framework for sharing genetic resources. “Its objective is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity,” according to the UN.
A new report from the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars looks at how the protocol may affect U.S. researchers working in the field of synthetic biology.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 10-15-2013
As the government shutdown enters its third week and the 2013 sequestration looms large, many are wondering just how much pain the US government can cause to American scientists. How deep does the political system reach into academic scientists’ pockets? Is the deadly sequester killing current research? Moreover, what effect are these budget cuts having on the scientific aspirations of budding young scientists?
According to a video that appeared in yesterday’s Huffington Post m four out of the five Nobel Prize winning scientist currently working for the government have been furloughed and many experiments have been destroyed due to the 2 week gap in their research projects (think dead cells). More importantly, the Huff Post quotes a source as saying that
we are going to lose a whole new generation of young scientists since many will turn away from science
In a well written blog post from a master’s student in the trenches, Kevin Boehnke attempts to answer the question how hard has the sequester and government shutdown affected both faculty and students. In an (unscientific) poll, Kevin reveals that most of those asked believe that the current government actions will have a small to moderate impact on their research. According to the article, the cutbacks will affect junior faculty more than tenured staff and doctoral students are becoming more sensitive to the political risks involved in pursuing a scientific career.
So what’s the solution? Boehnke suggests that more scientists need to run for political office.
What are your thoughts?