Seminar Abstract

DATE:  FRIDAY, September 29, 2017
TIME:  2:30 P.M. - Room 223 (Refreshments served at 2:15 pm)
PLACE: Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences Bldg.
14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Jonathan Alan King
MIT Department of Biology

Investing in Minds or Missiles? Congressional Budget Choices

The growth of higher education and university based scientific research in the U.S. after World War II has been critically dependent on federal investments, voted annually as part of the Congressional discretionary budget. In recent years more than 55% of this budget – our income taxes – has been spent on war and weapon purchase accounts. Recently President Trump proposed more cuts in key programs supporting education and research – including NIH, NSF, EPA, and NOAA – in order to fund a $54 billion increase (~10%) in military spending. This will bring the fraction of our tax dollars spent on preparation for war to more than 60% of the total Congressional budget. Many of the weapons program – such as the proposed $1,000,000,000 nuclear weapons "modernization" – are provocative and destabilizing, more likely to decrease national security than increase it. The excessive costs will greatly weaken programs addressing civilian needs.