According to a survey of more than 3,500 U.S. scientists, federal cuts to research funding have resulted in layoffs, a tough labor market for young scientists and a belief that the United States has lost its position as a global leader in scientific research. According to an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology spokesperson, the data in its report show that “deep cuts to federal investments in research are tearing at the fabric of the nation’s scientific enterprise and have a minimal impact on overcoming our national debt and deficit problems.” He called for Congress to act “before the damage caused by sequestration is irreversible.”

Among other matters, the survey revealed that just 2 percent of respondents have been able to find private funds to make up for those lost from federal grants, more than two-thirds lack sufficient funding to expand their research operations, nearly one-half have laid off researchers, and 55 percent have a colleague who has lost her job. Nearly one-fifth of all respondents said “they were considering moving to another country to continue their scientific career.” While the United States invests more real dollars in research and development than any other country, the report said, “[O]f the 10 countries investing the most money in scientific research, the United States is the only country that has reduced its investment in scientific research as a percentage of GDP [gross domestic product] since 2011.”