For a somewhat different take on the economic crisis and its implications for science: The NYT recently featured an article “Doctoral Candidates Anticipate Hard Times” and reported
“Fulltime faculty jobs have not been easy to come by in recent decades, but this year the new crop of Ph.D. candidates is finding the prospects worse than ever. Public universities are bracing for severe cuts as state legislatures grapple with yawning deficits. At the same time, even the wealthiest private colleges have seen their endowments sink and donations slacken since the financial crisis. So a chill has set in at many higher education institutions, where partial or full-fledge hiring freezes have been imposed.”
The Globe and Mail today offers a similarly depressing piece “Black days for those dreaming of the ivory tower - Graduate students hoping for tenure-track positions face bleak prospects as universities cut budgets and freeze hiring” which cites Mr. Burgoyne, president of McGill's postgraduate student society with saying “People are very worried. People are scared. Jobs, they are just disappearing.”
Meanwhile, the APS is conducting a survey How is the economic downturn affecting your organization?, that I encourage you to fill out if you are a physicist presently working in the USA.