Science and research are what keep the four horsemen of the apocalypse from running rampant, writes Johns Hopkins University's Andrew Feinberg at the New Scientist.
In the US, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work to ward off pestilence, but shrinking budget are limiting their abilities. Feinberg notes that the US science budget has dropped the level it was at in 2000, and it is facing a further 10 percent cut for the second half of this year due to sequestration. At the same time, some lawmakers in Congress are calling for an additional 19 percent cut to the NIH budget.
Science, Feinberg adds, also pushed back on the effects of the other horsemen of war, famine, and death.
"I know science is not usually front page news, but it drives the front page," he writes. "In the long run it is the only thing that can keep the horsemen at bay and ensure generations to come are healthy, peaceful, well-fed, and long-lived."