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Last year was one of notable scientific highlights: the first landing on a comet, discovery of a new fundamental particle that sheds light on the origin of the universe, development of the world's fastest supercomputer, and research uncovering new ways to meet global food demands. Unfortunately, none of these were U.S.-led achievements.
A new MIT report warns that the United States is missing out on cutting-edge technological developments and is in danger of falling behind other countries because of ongoing federal funding cuts to basic research. The report – "The Future Postponed: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit" -- notes that countries like China are committing more resources to research, and U.S. cuts could cause "long-term damage" to the country.
Competitors around the world are increasing their investment in basic research, but science funding in the U.S. federal budget is at "the lowest it has been since the Second World War as a fraction of the federal budget," says MIT physicist Marc Kastner, who led the committee that wrote the report. "This really threatens America's future."
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