Shutdown Stymies Scientific Research

The partial government shutdown is just a few days old, but scientific and medical researchers say the closure has already badly disrupted their work.

A team of researchers, including some from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, planned to visit the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona next week to take soil samples for a study on the climate in the time of the dinosaurs.

Now, the project is postponed indefinitely because the park is closed.

“It's not as if there's a big economic impact here,” said Columbia’s Arthur Lerner-Lam. “What's important is that there's a science impact. The purpose of drilling here is to understand what happened during that period of earth's history when climate was varying.”

The shutdown has also frozen the pipeline of federal grants for medical trials and lab research.