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10:30am, December 18, 2013

Sometimes science is political

In “Science slowdown” (SN: 11/30/13, p. 14), Beth Mole reported on how the recent U.S. government shutdown affected science and on the long-term decline in federal research funding. In the same issue’s editor’s note, Eva Emerson expressed concern that efforts to foster scientific curiosity and talent among students will be wasted if there aren’t enough research career options open to brilliant and motivated young people.

Many readers shared our concern, sharing personal stories about the excitement of doing research in the decades after Sputnik, when the United States became a mecca for aspiring scientists from around the world. Others lamented a culture that rewards college football coaches with astronomical salaries while scientific superstars struggle to pay for their work.

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