Professor Sheds Light on How the Government Shutdown Is Hurting the Field of Science

Kent State University Associate Professor of Geology Anne Jefferson, Ph.D.As the government shutdown continues, the ramifications have become more evident. While national parks and government employees have served as examples in the media of who and what the shutdown is harming, science research is also hurting from the delays in funding and resources.

Kent State University Associate Professor of Geology Anne Jefferson, Ph.D., wrote in the Nature International Journal of Science’s “World View” column that “tens of thousands of federal scientists must sit idle, and others must work without pay. On the surface, my job as an associate professor of geology at Kent State University in Ohio is unaffected. Below the surface, almost every hour of my working day is punctuated by uncertainty, frustration and delays.”

Dr. Jefferson also spoke with Time magazine about how her work is being affected by the shutdown. The article, titled “How the Government Shutdown is Stalling Scientists” was published Jan. 3.

Dr. Jefferson’s work at Kent State, which includes a research proposal about urban watersheds, is being directly impacted by the shutdown. She says she can’t talk to collaborators at the U.S. Geological Survey or National Park Service about ongoing research projects, and she is having trouble accessing data that are usually available on federal websites.

“Students tell me that they are rethinking their career plans. They no longer see federal science jobs as a dependable choice,” Dr. Jefferson wrote in the Nature “World View” column.

She has been using the hashtag #ScienceShutdown on Twitter to gather stories from her peers in the field. “The ramifications are going to get more and more acute each day this shutdown drags on,” Dr. Jefferson told Time.

To read the full Nature World View Column, visit

To read the full article in Time, visit

Dr. Jefferson was also recently quoted and featured in The Washington Post in early January ( and WCPN Ideastream (

For more information about Dr. Jefferson, visit


POSTED: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 7:17pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 2:10pm
Natalie Eusebio