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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
A Shutdown Veteran Can't Believe It's Happening Again
2 October 2013 11:30 am
Andrew Lovinger had just arrived at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the fall of 1995 when he was furloughed for 3 weeks because of a budget fight between the Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton that shut down several federal agencies. Now the longtime director of NSF’s polymers program finds himself once again at home, the victim of another bitter feud between Congress and the president. “I was very much hoping that a shutdown could be avoided,” he told ScienceInsider yesterday.
Lovinger thinks that an extended shutdown will be more disruptive this time around. “It was probably easier back then because everything was done on paper. Things just sort of waited,” he says. “Now, everything arrives electronically. There will be thousands of e-mails on my computer when I go back, and it will be a lot harder to catch up.”
One immediate headache for Lovinger is the cancellation of a panel that was scheduled to meet tomorrow and Friday to review grant proposals submitted to NSF this summer. “I had eight people coming into town, and they had already made travel arrangements. I had to tell them that the meeting was postponed until further notice.”
Unless Congress acts quickly, Lovinger will also have to miss the annual meeting of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in Washington, D.C., which starts on Sunday. That’s because NSF paid for his registration. And although the meeting is only a subway ride away from his home, his attendance would violate the no-work provision of the shutdown. “So I’ll probably have to miss it,” he says.
Nearly 2 decades ago, Lovinger told Science that “what happened was unique, and I don’t think it will occur again.” Reminded of that comment, he chuckles before turning serious again. “I’m saddened that it has come to this,” he says. “It does not reflect well on our capacity to be a global leader in science.”