Friday, April 21, 2017 at 10:42 a.m.
Women’s March L.A. on Jan. 21
Until this year, public funding for scientific research was a rare point of bipartisan agreement in Congress. Not so anymore. The Trump administration’s budget proposes cutting almost one-fifth of research funding — $5.8 billion — from the National Institute of Health next year. That’s on top of the $1.2 billion he wants to cut this year.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price defended the cuts, telling a House committee they are intended to reduce the amount the NIH pays universities to cover “overhead” costs, like lab equipment and utilities. Total NIH funding for the University of California system in the 2016 fiscal year was nearly $2 billion.
The NIH is the largest public funding source for science, funding research into a vast array of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and mental illness.
Alex Bradley, a PhD candidate in biochemistry, molecular and structural biology at UCLA, says the threat to funding jeopardizes thousands of faculty positions at research institutions around the country. The funding cuts, along with frustration about the ways in science is often misinterpreted, pushed Bradley, 29, down a path of activism.
He is the lead organizer of the Los Angeles March for Science in L.A. on Saturday, part of a nationwide network of 400 marches (the biggest of which is expected in Washington, D.C.). As of Friday morning, L.A. march organizers have received 18,000 confirmations via its Facebook group.
“I was just…
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