The US government shutdown finally came to an end this evening, as you may have heard. Why does AstronoMerrdiff care? Well, let me put it this way:
The government shutdown took $24 billion out of the US economy. http://t.co/OrUhTM9NzO The entire NASA budget: $16 billion
— carlzimmer (@carlzimmer) October 16, 2013
It was such a waste.
Many of my colleagues and friends were directly affected by the shutdown, and huge swaths of US-based science effectively ground to a halt. NASA closed its doors, an entire season in Antarctica was effectively canceled, radio telescopes went silent, conference talks were canceled or withdrawn… the list goes on.
My pay did not stop, because I am a university teaching assistant. But scientists are all connected to one another. It is important to realize that this shutdown is not just something that ends – repercussions will be felt for years to come. I am sad to report that the challenges of funding and support for science in this country are far from behind us.