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December 19, 2007

Just in time for the holidays

There's excellent coverage elsewhere of the recent trashing of science funding by Congress and the Whitehouse, for instance, Cosmic Variance, Science Magazine (with gruesome details about who didn't get what), and Computer Research Policy Blog (with details on all the devious tricks pulled to make the funding changes look less terrible than they actually are).

The past few years have seen support for basic research decline quite a bit at the federal level (for instance, the DoD basically eliminated all of its basic research funding, which forced many of its previous researchers to go instead to the already overburdened NSF for funds). The funding decrease this year would have only produced a lot of grumbling and complaining, and probably even a lot of upset letters had it not been for the promises by Congress and the Whitehouse for funding increases this year (via the America COMPETES initiative (whitehouse.gov link).

In other, more happy news, I just had my first paper accepted at Nature. The review process was considerably more painful than I expected. The final product is certainly improved over the initial one, on account of changes we made to address some of the questions by the reviewers (along with changes based on feedback from many talks I've given on the topic over the past year). It's comforting to know that good, interdisciplinary work can actually get published in a vanity journal like Nature. That being said, I really prefer to write papers in which I can actually discuss the technical details in the main body of the paper, rather than hiding them all in the appendices that no one actually reads. I also like writing papers longer than 15 paragraphs.

With that, happy holidays to you all. I head east in the morning for the usual family festivities, which will induce yet another hiatus from blogging for me. I'll return to beautiful New Mexico just in time to do my usual year-end blog wrap up here.

posted December 19, 2007 09:05 PM in Rant | permalink



Posted by: succc at December 20, 2007 05:01 AM

Congratulations! Awesome news about the Nature paper :) Can you please send me a copy to my personal email address.

Posted by: Matthew Berryman at December 20, 2007 06:21 PM

congrats for accepted paper in Nature !
could you please also send me a copy to my personal email address.

Posted by: dikshie at December 24, 2007 02:07 AM