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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Politics or science? On the fate of NSF funding for political science

Given that I've seen this topic pop up in a number of social media places, I feel compelled to pass it along as a weekend post. On the Monkey Cage blog, Christopher Zorn addresses the recent vote in the House to defund the National Science Foundation's program in political science.

I appreciate all the demonstrations of the value of political science research, both at the Monkey Cage and elsewhere. But while I agree our research is valuable, framing our institutional response to the amendment in that way is just engaging Representative Flake on his own terms. The value of political science research is not—by a large margin—the most important aspect of the amendment’s passage, nor is focusing on that value the way to win any debate.


... the precedent this sets is seriously dangerous. The idea that individual members of Congress should sit in judgment over individual programs of scientific research opens up the possibility of the politicization of the scientific process by people across the political spectrum. This is of course not limited to NSF: NIH, NIJ, DOD, etc. could all see their research arms’ funding compromised by legislators looking to make some political hay.

You can see the entire post here.


Posted by Dingo_Pug on May 12, 2012 at 08:37 AM | Permalink


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