We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

The Biggest Loser: Science Could Be "Devastated" by Financial Crisis

Reality Base
By Melissa Lafsky
Oct 14, 2008 12:25 AMNov 5, 2019 1:30 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Everyone is losing this year. Whether it be the Lehman CEO or the evicted homeowner or the aging employee with a napalmed 401K, no one—not even the supercalifragilistamega-rich— is coming out of this unscathed. But given the present and future of across-the-board pain, it's worth looking at which industries and interests should be salvaged, or at least partially shielded from damage. Famed paleoanthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey is already on the offensive, telling reporters during a speech the University of Arkansas at Little Rock that the economic crisis would be "just devastating" to scientific research. He fears that as the philanthropists, foundations, corporations, and governments that fund scientific research watch their coffers empty, money for grants, endowments, and other research efforts will fizzle. Starting in 2009, donations for research and exploration will be "hugely hit," he predicts. Environmental researchers and activists are already worried that climate work could be tossed aside in favor of more immediate (but not necessarily less worrisome) concerns. It's not a stretch to predict that other scientific fields will be hit as well—and that the halting or delaying of research could be as big an aggregate loss as the mortgage crisis and Dow immolation combined. Related: Reality Base: High Gas Prices = Good; High Gas Prices = Bad RB: Lose Your House, Lose Your Vote, Lose Your Self-Esteem RB: DISCOVER's Science Policy Project

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.