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April 04, 2017

National Science Foundation Director France Cordova speaks at Northeastern University Monday. (Courtesy of Northeastern University)

The director of the National Science Foundation was in Boston Monday, speaking out about potential cuts to science and research funding.

President Trump's budget blueprint doesn't reference the NSF specifically, but it does call for dramatic cuts to federal research spending that would deeply affect academic institutions.

If approved by Congress, Trump's budget would cut $6 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- about 20 percent of its funding.

"We just cannot afford to give up," said NSF Director France Cordova, delivering the keynote address at the opening of a new $225 million science and engineering complex at Northeastern University.

Without mentioning Trump by name, Cordova said deep cuts would be devastating to scientific research and the economy.

"The discoveries that have made such a profound difference in the way we live and learn and work and communicate are all due to investments in basic research," Cordova said. "Half of our present GDP is due to investments in science and technology and much of that investment has been by the federal government."

In January, the Trump administration asked Cordova to stay on as head of the NSF.

The federal agency has had an annual budget or around $7 billion in recent years. Ultimately, its funding will be set by Congress.

Massachusetts stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars that go to dozens of colleges and universities.

Listen to Kirk's two-way with Dr. France Cordova:

Earlier: Trump's Proposed Budget Threatens Academic Research

Disclosure: The National Science Foundation provides funding for some of WGBH's national science programming.

confronting cost, higher ed

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