First it was a solitary voice. That voice was joined by others and became a chorus. Now it is a cacophony, and unless you spent this winter in Antarctica or the South Pacific, you have heard it by now.
It is the sound of scientists and policymakers exhorting their colleagues to insert themselves into the national budget debate before they get shut out for good. The underlying messages are simple. First, the philosophical battle is over, and those who would cut the federal budget deficit have won. Second, scientists can no longer afford to live in a political vacuum.