SfN 2013: The Government Shutdown Edition

October 7, 2013

As you all know, the annual meetings of the academic scientific societies are a great place to interact with the Program Staff of your most relevant NIH Institutes and Centers. The past few years of budget flatlines, some concern over junketeering in other Government agencies and most painfully the sequester has already had an impact.

It isn’t only the Program Staff either. Many of you will have colleagues, as I do, that work at various federal research installations including the NIH Intramural Research programs of each IC. Their travel has been restricted as well.

The government shutdown comes at a bad time for the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience which is scheduled for November 9-13, 2013.

@inbabyattachmode just alerted me to the first sign of doom.

A satellite meeting hosted by NIDA has been cancelled.

NIDA SfN Mini-Convention
Friday, November 8, 2013

Belt up, scientists. This ride is getting bumpy.

5 Responses to “SfN 2013: The Government Shutdown Edition”

  1. pielcanelaphd Says:

    The NIH was supposed to have a huge presence at the SACNAS meeting, unfortunately the shutdown resulted in the cancellation of speakers, events, and the participation of all NIH institutes (and numerous other agencies). Such a shame that talented undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds get shortchanged and get to see such an ugly side of our government; not what I would call a welcoming mat to the life of a scientist. The upcoming ABRCMS meeting will probably suffer the same fate, further eroding the premier two conferences that inspire underrepresented students to pursue careers in science and serve as vehicles of recruitment for internships, summer research experiences, and graduate schools.


  2. anonymous postdoc Says:

    But, but, the nida magnet! And my drinking plans!

    Ok I’m done being flip. This is fucking terrible.


  3. Brugg Says:

    A positive side of all this doom and gloom is that, perhaps, aspiring undergrads and new PhD students will be forewarned of the horrible state of funding that is academic research. Call it “informed consent”, if you will. After all, clinical folks get hammered if research subjects aren’t properly informed of potential risks, so why is it fine to put forth a rosy illusion to sucker the kids into research? It’s downright criminal.


  4. clueless noob Says:

    It looks like the NIAAA one is still on, though. Probably.


  5. Disgruntled Membrane Says:

    NCI Director Harold Varmus sent a note to all NCI staff regarding the shutdown:

    “Part of the reason I am writing at this time is to prepare you for the possibility that we at the NCI (and presumably others at the NIH) will be asking reviewers and advisors to adapt to abrupt and inconvenient changes in the scheduling of meetings to review grant applications and oversee programs. These changes may require you to alter long-standing plans to attend worthwhile events. But avoiding a major crisis in grant-making and program development this year may be possible only if all members of the NCI communities are willing to help alleviate the consequences of the shutdown.”

    Translation, stay glued to your desk, don’t even think about hitting up XYZ’s annual meeting.


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