Scientists Bristle at Trump Budget’s Cuts to Research – The New York Times

A scientist working with the Zika virus at a National Institutes of Health lab in Bethesda, Md., last year. President Trump would cut the budget for the National Institutes of Health by 18 percent. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

Before he became president, Donald J. Trump called climate change a hoax, questioned the safety of vaccines and mocked renewable energy as a plaything of “tree-huggers.”

So perhaps it is no surprise that Mr. Trump’s first budget took direct aim at basic scientific and medical research.

Still, the extent of the cuts in the proposed budget unveiled early Thursday shocked scientists, researchers and program administrators. The reductions include $5.8 billion, or 18 percent, from the National Institutes of Health, which fund thousands of researchers working on cancer and other diseases, and $900 million, or a little less than 20 percent, from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which funds the national laboratories, considered among the crown jewels of basic research in the world.

The White House is also proposing to eliminate climate science programs throughout the federal government, including at the Environmental Protection Agency.

“As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward: We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said at a White House briefing on Thursday. “We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.”

…(read more).

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