A government shutdown destabilizes federal agencies that are essential for national security and safety, public health, and economic stability. On day 20 and counting of the federal shutdown, the damage on U.S. science has continued. A lot of attention has been focused on several science stories, such as:
What will the larger implications be once the shutdown ends? It is hard to say until we know exactly how long the shutdown will go, but each day is growing more and more expensive.
The shutdown is already having real-time consequences in 2019. Over 800,000 federal workers are furloughed or working without pay, many of whom are researchers at agencies like NIST, NOAA, NSF, and USDA. Since employees are banned from working, let alone opening emails, all work has stalled.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it is one small example how the shutdown is affecting the scientific integrity of data collection. I hope that an agreement is made soon so people can get back to work and science progress will no longer be stalled.