Gangs and Cupcakes: Violence and Sugar Go Together – The Atlantic

Gangs and Cupcakes: Violence and Sugar Go Together – The Atlantic.

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simple tools to save lives: a health promoter model

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open letter to Congress on science funding

Senator Dianne Feinstein
Chairman
Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee

Senator Lamar Alexander
Ranking Member
Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee

March 1, 2011

Dear Chairman Feinstein and Sen. Alexander,

We write in regards to the current proposed budget cuts on science, and the impact the cuts would have on the competitiveness of this nation, both in the short and long term. The economic health and world leadership of this country depends on an unbroken cycle of innovation, rooted in our ability to attract and educate new waves of creative young scientists and engineers, each year. It is this cycle of innovation, whose continuation depends on funding for basic research, that drives both basic and applied sciences, and the creation of new technologies and treatments that define and improve the quality of everyday life.

In order for the cycle to remain unbroken, and for the nation’s position of leadership to continue, basic research needs to be supported, even when the times demand strict fiscal responsibility. One never knows where the next transformative breakthrough will emerge, or who the next young scientist will be that creates it.

The proposed cuts to the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology would result in the immediate cessation of many scientifically critical activities, due in part to the layoff of thousands of scientists and engineers. The cuts would have a severe impact on cutting-edge research in areas such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, high-speed computing, advanced materials and photonics, as well as high energy physics, nuclear physics and fusion energy sciences.

At a time when we are seeking to spark economic growth and encourage talented young people to pursue careers in science and engineering, reducing federal support for science research and education is counterproductive. It is basic research that motivates many young people to study science. Such cuts will only hurt our competitiveness, especially at a time when emerging economies such as China and India are ramping up their investments in scientific research and education, and are learning to form their own generations of young innovators.

As young scientists and our mentors, we ask that you make science a priority and fund basic research at a level that provides long term growth as an investment, both in our future and our nation’s future. There are many exciting questions that we can only address if provided sufficient resources, not only this year but in the coming years as well. The tools and techniques that we develop in pursuit of these answers will have a lasting benefit to our country and society.

Sincerely,
Yalda Afshar, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL and the undersigned
all signatories on original post here.