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Scientists' new year: from dismal to delightful

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7025.206a (Published 27 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:206

The new year has brought first bad news, then worse news, and finally very good news to the major medical agencies of the US government. As the Republican controlled congress started slashing government spending to reach a balanced total budget by 2002, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was warned to prepare for cuts of 5-10% a year over five years to its annual budget of almost $12bn (pounds sterling7800m). The rumours from those discussions reverberated through America's medical schools, whose research is supported primarily by the NIH.

But that bad news was only rumour. Reality came when the Congress and President Clinton failed in early January to reach a compromise over the federal budget, and the government was shut down for …

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