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As the Shutdown Persists, Here Are 5 Ways It Will Impact Science

A second wave of closures looms as the government funding fight barrels towards a record-breaking fourth week. Thousands of U.S scientists are heading into their fourth week of enforced leave, the result of a prolonged government shutdown that began on 22 December.

The Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are among the science agencies that have stopped processing grant applications, cut off access to key data sets and temporarily shuttered federal labs and offices.

With budget negotiations between President Donald Trump and Congress stalled, there is a growing chance that the government will remain closed until at least 12 January. That would make this shutdown the longest in U.S. history. Nature examines how the funding fight is stymieing scientific research, and how the damage could grow over time.

Some experiments can be postponed, or halted and later restarted, with ease. But for researchers who study the natural world, deferring a study can put crucial observations tied to seasonal cycles forever out of reach.

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