Sequester Causes 'Brain Drain' Of U.S. Researchers

Ashley Gold | FierceHealthIT | September 25, 2013

Scientists head overseas due to federal budget cuts, report finds

One in five U.S. scientists have considered moving overseas to continue their research due to being hamstrung by the federal budget sequester, according to a new report called Unlimited Potential, Vanishing Opportunity, published by a coalition of 16 science organizations.

The report is based on answers to an online survey completed in June and July by 3,700 scientists from a variety of disciplines in all 50 states, as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico. Of those respondents, 46 percent have laid off researchers, 55 percent know a colleague who's lost a job recently, and 85 percent surveyed believe federal funding cuts have put the U.S. at a disadvantage to global competitors in the "race toward discovery."

The report authors write that over the past 10 years, federal investments in scientific research have been stagnant and have not kept up with inflation. The sequester has "eroded our ability to invest in the next generation of scientists to carry out the groundbreaking research the U.S. is known for."