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October 3, 2013
The partial government shutdown entered its second day today with no end in sight. An analyst at a technology think tank called ITIF says the damage to research projects will be lasting.
The government shutdown is in its early stages, but according to the ITIF’s Stephen Ezell, even if the interruption only lasts another 24 hours, the damage has already been done.
Ezell says the cuts to R&D funding triggered by the shutdown are just the latest in a long run that point to the federal government’s inability to fund scientific research consistently.
This is resulting in the loss of many bright young researchers, both domestically and abroad, he says.
“What you’re seeing now at the national laboratories, for example, at many of these agencies, is researchers and scientific investigators just saying, ‘we’ve had enough.’ And they’re leaving government service, they’re going to academia, they’re going to the private sector. And so this really is going to have long term impacts.”
Ezell says the shutdown has also tarnished the country’s investment reputation with international companies.
He says global investors will be unlikely to consider countries that can’t guarantee a stable investment space for research and development.