I noticed a recent article in this week’s Financial Times newspaper that worried me, it highlights the effects of the continued weak government spending on scientific research,  not surprisingly the lack of spend is having a knock on effect, this time highlighted by an instrument manufacturers poor returns and position on the stock market.

It’s not only the instrument manufacturers that are suffering, it also hits technologies such as nanotechnology and bioengineering which rely heavily on characterisation and specialist tools which require years of R D development and spend.

Analysts lament over the lack of change in the mood and importance of science within government agenda’s, the analyst went on to say that it’s all about spending by governments in western Europe and the US. If this spend is stagnant or on a decline, it is no surprise the demand for instruments used in characterization, manipulation and synthesis will be on a decline and even though we’re seeing a rise in Asian markets this isn’t on the scale it needs to be to compensate for the fall in funding from US and European shores.

In the US a key congressional committee is planning a hearing in the coming weeks on legislation that may cut even further, budgets and resources in the science arena. This is on top of the 16.3% decline in real funding since 2010, the fastest drop in a consecutive 3 year period since the end of the space race in the 70s. Science advocates are preparing for the worst from the hearing, word is already filtering out that it will be quite controversial.