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Arizona professor warns that science funding is at 25-year low

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The Arizona Bioindustry Association's main goal is to build a life science industry in the state.

A University of Arizona professor is sounding the alarm about federal cuts to science budgets. He says funding for major science agencies has reached a 25-year low.

Christopher Impey is an astronomy professor at UA, and has lobbied for research funding as the associate dean for the College of Science.

Impey warned of looming cuts in 2025, blaming congressional gridlock and partisan divides over which science to support. This affects major endeavors, like NASA and the National Institutes of Health.

“Well, you can imagine that they're sort of cherry picking the research that fits their perspective or their point of view. I mean, it's encouraging that both parties do look to research and scientific papers to support their arguments or their perspective on funding," he said

He also says cuts or even flat budgets can limit important work on topics such as space exploration, climate change and artificial intelligence.

“Well, research is expensive and the tools of research are getting more expensive too. So, flat budgets actually mean you can do less year by year," he said.

Impey says global competitors, such as China, are on pace to overtake the U.S. when it comes to scientific developments.

Still, he says Arizona is in a good position compared to other states when it comes to pursuing science.

Ignacio Ventura is a reporter for KJZZ. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in news media and society.