Nature editorial staff on financial meltdown

"[W]ith an economic crisis of unknown proportions looming, more emphasis on science and innovation — not less — will be crucial to achieving a sustained recovery."

- Editorial in Nature

In these worrying financial uncertain times, many scientists fear a backlash against research funding: in these uncertain times, surely governments will deem such spending an unaffordable luxury. Not surprisingly, Nature magazine has come out against this outcome in its lead editorial last week, citing the conclusions of a recent meeting in Dubai of the World Economic Forum, which likened innovation not to growth, but to survival.

According to the editorial, policy-makers should take the "long view" and not let recent advances in scientific infrastructure languish, because keeping science strong will ultimately aid our recovery. Indeed, China recently pledged US$586 billion to a stimulus package that seems to include significant support for science. It remains to be seem what Barack Obama will do in America next year, and how other world leaders will step up to the plate for research and innovation.

You can read the editorial with a subscription to Nature.