I've got to admit that this most recent government shutdown actually made me pretty content. One of the main points that I'm trying to get across in this project is that relying only on government funding for our science funding is a serious liability. And nothing proves that more than a government shutdown. When our government can't even keep its doors open, how are we supposed to be able to rely on it for planning of things like research initiatives? With the government lurching from crisis to crisis, unable to come up with an acceptable budget, who knows what long-term effects this will have on US scientists.
The last time the government shut down, I was a witness to the stupidity and futility of government red tape. During the 2013 Shutdown, I was at the Algae Biomass Summit. The federal government shut down the night of the first day of the conference. Due to the shutdown, several government administrators from the Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency couldn't work. The result was that scientists and industry leaders in the algae field were deprived of a chance to hear important policy discussion and news from these administrators. The most outrageous part, to me, was that several of them had already traveled to the conference, and would have been happy to give their talks, but were forbidden from doing so. Talk about a waste of resources, especially for someone who's already made the trip.
So to me, this dysfunction at the heart of government is unsurprising. The more it happens, the more clear it becomes that we're going to have to find alternate means of outsourcing societal obligations such as science funding. So if you believe that science funding is too important to leave Congress entirely in charge of it, follow our Facebook page, and share posts! Also, don't forget to donate to our campaign!