The Scientific Activist documents the atrocities. Basic research is the proper domain of government funding, because the benefits accrue broadly. Sometimes we learn something narrow enough to be patentable, but often the result is fundamental enough to open up whole new realms of opportunity, new fields for companies to compete in. The incentive to do that basic research doesn’t exist for a lot of companies, even though they would benefit immensely from it.
Every year, the President asserts that he wants to raise science funding, but every year of his presidency, the amount spent on grants has fallen. They push some areas of research entirely out of the federal funding system, and underfund the rest of science. They focus us on a grand but meaningless mission to Mars, which means cutting programs that actually give us good scientific results. There’s a pattern here, and our leaders need to be held accountable for it.