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Left Behind?

Sequester spending cuts could delay scientific research for two years, US President Barack Obama said in a speech to the National Academy of Sciences yesterday, the New York Times reports. The academy was celebrating its 150th anniversary.

"Instead of racing ahead on the next cutting-edge discovery, our scientists are left wondering if they'll get to start any new projects, any new research projects at all over the next few years," Obama said, "which means that we could lose a year, two years of scientific research as a practical matter because of misguided priorities here in [Washington, DC]."

The sequester imposes about a 5 percent cut to both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation budgets.

Those cuts, Obama said, according to LiveScience, are "misguided" and harm the US competitive edge in science."What we produce here ends up having benefits worldwide," he said. "We should be reaching for a level of private and public research and development investment that we haven't seen since the height of the space race, that's my goal."