American science and the budget crisis

Eugenie Samuel Reich speculates about the effect on US science should the debt ceiling not be raised by 2 August 2011:

Republicans have made it clear that they will not cut defence spending, and Democrats are keen to protect social security and health-care programmes such as Medicare and Medicaid. Thus, the cuts are likely to fall on the roughly $600-billion discretionary, domestic budget, which includes funding for scientific agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. A reduction of $100 billion, applied across the board, would result in a 17% cut to such agencies.

Excellent discussion of best- and worst-case scenarios and their effect on science, ‘an investment in future prosperity’.