Sequestration Could Hurt Research on New Data Analysis Tools

White House wants to make results of studies more available to the public.

Among the cuts the White House highlighted in a state-by-state breakdown of the likely effects of sequestration is about 1,000 fewer research grants that will be issued by the National Science Foundation.

Those lost grants would affect the work and livelihood of about 12,000 researchers and graduate students, the White House said.

The cuts could affect some basic research into complex data analysis and advanced computing the White House hopes will make government more efficient in the future. Medicare officials, for example, are using new data analysis tools to better spot fraud before benefits checks go out rather than spending more to chase improperly paid checks.  

In other news related to scientific research, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memorandum on Friday directing agencies that spend more than $100 million annually on research and development to create plans to make that research publicly available within one year of its publication.

The White House announced the policy change in response to a petition on its We the People website asking the government to “Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.”