Science Versus Trump

Proposed cuts to the funding of US scientific agencies will be detrimental to global health – not just the health of Americans.

By Catherine Bollard, President of the International Society for Cellular Therapy, US.

August 2017

President Donald Trump’s budget request for 2018 caused a huge stir in the scientific community because of its potential impact on research. Funding for a number of agencies has been cut, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH’s proposed 2018 budget is $26.9 billion, down from $34.6 billion in 2017. All eyes will now be on Congress, which ultimately decides what funding agencies receive. It is important to emphasize that although Trump’s focus is on the US, his views and policies have a global impact, especially given that a number of US federal agencies support global research. Foreign position scientist programs, involving travel to and from the US, have been incredibly effective in addressing global health issues, such as HIV, malaria and Ebola. When you see budget cuts that could affect these programs, you realize the devastating impact it could have.