Friday, May 3, 2013

How Much Say Should Congress Have in Science Funding?


A battle over science is under way in the halls of the Capitol, with some in Congress calling for more say in which research projects receive federal dollars.

Political science studies funded this year must show their results will benefit U.S. economic or security interests, and another proposal imposes similar new criteria on other scientific studies.

In response, critics have charged lawmakers with intruding into the National Science Foundation’s approval process.
“Every scientific discipline has a stake in undoing the damage inflicted on political science, and, in fact, to the national interest,” by the new criteria, writes Kenneth Prewitt of Columbia University, in a commentary published in tomorrow’s (May 3) issue of the journal Science. “Every scientist should vigorously contest any effort to apply those criteria more broadly.”

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