I find it often very difficult to disambiguate the self-interest of the devotees of science and their love and discovery when they start hinting at which government programs we should support. Anyone with the briefest familiarity with the history of science understands that the building up of knowledge is a hacking phenomenon. In other words, one should take with a bit of skepticism anyone whose research is funded by government grants when they argue politically. The fact is that today's university system is practically underwritten by the federal government. Do the research. There are only two universities in America who refuse federal funds. Why are universities so expensive, one reason is that they are so administratively heavy; federal forms aren't easy to fill out, nor are processes to comply with federal regulations easy to pay for. Some of that is a snake eating its own tail.
Can anyone who calls himself a scientist truly say that without government, the pursuit of knowledge will dry up? I wish I could find a couple neat references around here but I am impatient to get on with my day. But I once read an excellent essay that showed exactly how far afield so many credentialed researchers go out into obscure impractical realms. This was especially true about Physicists. To think about it, the idea of Higgs boson is fifty years old. Now that it's there, and has been presumeably forever, how many people did it really take to find it? And what difference does it make? How many bosons can dance on the head of a pin? How many superstrings in a Big Mac and Coke with fries? If scientists are so smart, why aren't they rich?
But seriously, I hear that one argument against Romney is that he supports federal block grants to states. These are funds with no strings attached. In other words, they bypass the federal grant application process and push that responsibility down to the states. Not good for some researcher who knows the federal process but not the local process, especially when they pursue research with no short-term benefits to the people around which they live. One does wonder occasionally why 'dark matter' matters when there are starving children. The same argument atheists use against the religious.
It is my experience that a goodly number of STEM experts are woefully lacking in their studies and appreciation of history, economics and religion as if theirs were the only knowledge worth pursuing, and it is from this simplistic prejudice that I find rather predictable and shrill doomsaying emanating from 'experts'.
Government funded scientists & university researchers do not have a monopoly on morality or knowledge. Think for yourself.