Science Is Back Online: Twitter Responses to Shutdown's End

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has ended, and science is back online—literally. Federal research agencies were greeted with varying degrees of fanfare when they finally fired up their Twitter accounts again today.

Usual suspects—the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI)—are all operational.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which turned off its telescopes on 4 October, announced its plans to restart operations:

NASA was perhaps most sorely missed during the shutdown—at least enough to inspire fans to fill in for them with the tag #ThingsNASAMightTweet—and made a triumphant return this morning with a picture of the Northern Lights taken from space.

Mars Rover Curiosity is also back in the game:

And Curiosity’s counterpart @SarcasticRover showed some uncharacteristic sincerity to celebrate NASA’s return:

But although scientists are trickling back to work, research has taken a hit. NIH Director Francis Collins was careful to note the cost of the shutdown:

And Phil Plait, astronomer and author of Slate blog Bad Astronomy, shared a sobering reminder:

Tell us how the shutdown has affected your work. Tweet at us @ScienceNews or use the tag #backtoscience.