Updated on March 16 at 1:30 p.m. ET
President Trump’s budget blueprint, released Thursday morning, is supposed to lay out the administration priorities, and science is clearly not among them. It deals sweeping cuts to science and health agency budgets, and, in some cases, targets specific programs championed by the Obama administration.
The administration will release a more detailed budget request later this year, and Congress will ultimately have to approve the federal budget. But in this opening bid, there is not much good news for scientists. “This would be pretty devastating to the American science and technology enterprise,” said Matt Hourihan, director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s R&D Budget and Policy Program.
The National Institutes of Health, for example, gets a budget cut of 18 percent to $25.9 billion. The NIH funds much of the disease research at universities and hospitals and carries out its own research programs.
The blueprint calls for a “major reorganization” of the NIH’s 27 institutes and centers. One cancer researcher told Nature they were especially worried about funding for multi-year epidemiology studies at the NIH’s cancer institute, where even short interruptions can hinder a study. And in keeping with the cuts to diplomacy in the overall budget, the one center named for complete elimination is the Fogarty International Center, whose mission is global health.