Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A bad idea from Congress -- What a surprise!

According to ScienceInsider:
The legislation, being worked up by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), represents the latest—and bluntest—attack on NSF by congressional Republicans seeking to halt what they believe is frivolous and wasteful research being funded in the social sciences. Last month, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) successfully attached language to a 2013 spending bill that prohibits NSF from funding any political science research for the rest of the fiscal year unless its director certifies that it pertains to economic development or national security. Smith's draft bill, called the "High Quality Research Act," would apply similar language to NSF's entire research portfolio across all the disciplines that it supports.
The legislation is wrong headed. It calls for each research project funded by the government to support both economic development and national security. It calls for research to be defended in advance as being ground breaking, while in fact much research is found to have been ground breaking only in retrospect. And it calls for the government to certify that each and every project is to be unique in the government's portfolio -- a finding that would take huge resources to accomplish even were it not useful to have replication of results.

I presume that these people do not recognize the importance of research in providing the basis for future economic growth and do not understand the scientific and technological system of the USA.

No comments: