Friday, October 4, 2013

C&EN: "Shutdown Slams Federal R&D Workers"

By Andrea Widener, a short C&EN article about the shutdown and how it's affecting chemists working for the US government:
...Among chemists, the biggest impact is likely on federal scientists at agencies such as NIH and EPA. Many have had to temporarily abandon their research and may not be paid for missed days resulting from the shutdown. 
Chemists in industry and academia are also left in the lurch. Many regulatory agencies have halted inspections, such as FDA’s food safety checks, and processing of applications, such as EPA’s premanufacture notices approving new chemicals. 
The Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates, an industry group, is concerned that the shutdown will halt free-trade negotiations with Europe scheduled for this week, says William E. Allmond IV, vice president of government and public relations. “It puts all of those industry priorities on the back burner.” 
The National Science Foundation and other science funders have quit processing new grants, although grantees who have already received funds can spend that money. Scientists with pending grant applications cannot work on them because most government websites are not operating. 
...While talks continue, some agencies are still at work because they run on user fees, including the Patent & Trademark Office and the FDA office that processes New Drug Applications. Although 70% of Department of Energy employees are furloughed, its national laboratories will continue operating on contingency funds, at least for the short-term.
Best wishes to readers affected by the shutdown -- this sucks.  

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