There Should Be Grandeur: Basic Science in the Shadow of the Sequester

Published as a guest post at

[T]he sequester wreaks its havoc by striking hardest at particular points in the life cycle of a university researcher. New tenure-line faculty are actually somewhat insulated from the very worst of the pressure. “Every agency has set aside money for young investigators,” he says,”some from private foundations, and a lot from the feds.” Cuts in budget strike those dependent on other people’s grants — graduate students, post docs and soft-money research scientists — but a new faculty hire has somewhat better prospects than most for the first few years.

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About Thomas Levenson

Professor Thomas Levenson is the winner of Walter P. Kistler Science Documentary Film Award, Peabody Award (shared), New York Chapter Emmy, and the AAAS/Westinghouse award. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Discover, and The Sciences. He is winner of the 2005 National Academies Communications Award for Origins.


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