Some thoughts on the debt crisis

First, I think the consequences for US science, were the US to default and possibly even if Congress and the President reach a deal, will be negative. In macro terms, I see Federal R&D on a downward glide slope that may well turn into a dive.

Second, I think the combination of the US debt crisis and the European sovereign debt melt down are potentially devastating to the entire global science enterprise. Asia is not yet at the point where the massive western science infrastructure is not needed to push ahead.

Third, with regards to the US, the solutions being put forward by both sides are so constrained by the size of the entitlement problem, there is no scenario that I can see where we don’t eat our seed corn.

To give loyal readers a sense of what the future might look like, we might look to the example of Soviet science after the collapse of the USSR in 1989. Not good.