American Science and the Looming Fiscal Cliff

Some people think American archaeology is science.  Some people do not.  Believe it or not, a quiet argument about that actually exists in the world of archaeology today.  No matter how you might feel about that issue, the federal government tends to treat research in archaeology and physical anthropology as science.  As you know, a great deal of the archaeological work in the United States is funded with federal dollars.  What would happen if a large chunk of annual Congressional appropriations for research in American archaeology and other scientific fields were to suddenly disappear every year for the next 10 years?  For those of you who do not follow the daily news as closely as we do here at the Archaeology in Tennessee blog, such an unfortunate event may actually happen right after New Year’s Day 2013.  That is only about 2.5 weeks from now.  Our nation’s economy and a good deal of its life-sustaining scientific research may lose its already tenuous balance and fall headlong (like a bungy jumper) off the Fiscal Cliff.  A good deal of American archaeology and physical anthropology may tumble off the cliff with it.  What is the Fiscal Cliff?  You can read about it and its potential impacts on scientific research in the United States in the following article and the many web links within this article:

This issue is deadly serious business folks.  Come back tomorrow night, and I will have some personal commentary on the Fiscal Cliff and my opinions about the potential odds that American science and archaeology will take a fall.  We will now close with a famous nursery rhyme because children are in charge of our fate over the next few weeks: 

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All Obama’s horses and all Boehner’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back

Together again.

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