Don’t sequester discovery and innovation

Good times or bad, one must manage for the future. Discovery and innovation is the pathway there.

Our economy, prosperity and well-being have been driven by scientific discovery and technological innovation in ways that most people rarely think about. In the coming weeks, Congress has a decision to make that will determine if the partnership between government, universities and industry in scientific discovery and technological innovation will continue in the robust way it has in the past. Looming across-the-board budget cuts — known as the sequester — are set to significantly reduce vital federal investments in scientific research and development, and in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. These indiscriminate cuts may save money in the short term, but there will be a significant, long-term, irreparable price to pay if the U.S. government slashes its support for science and engineering and for those who pursue those fields. The authors urge Congress to allocate scarce funds in a manner that creates economic growth and security both now and in the future.

The op-ed, written by Richard Templeton, president and CEO of Texas Instruments, and Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, can be read at Politico.