Lawmakers Know Science Better than Scientists?


There has been plenty of politicizing of science by the past administration, such as censoring environmental reports, but now it looks like members of Congress are trying to strangle science in the womb–sorry for that image.

But it looks to be the case that it will be lawmakers deciding what sorts of things deserve funding, rather than the actual experts in those fields.

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 it supports.

Go read the rest of the article. This is basically a call back to the stupid statements such as those from governor Sarah Palin back in 2008 about spending money on fruit flies; she thought it was a waste, even though the research done with such flies has focuses on issues of neurology and pathology and issues which even one of her children has.

Do you really want know-nothing politicians who deny most of the basic science out there to be deciding what is worth researching? When all congressional Republicans deny global warming, when there is wide denial of evolution, when there are those that keep funding things like NCCAM that wastes money on things we know don’t work: are these the sorts of people you want deciding what is real? I’m sorry, but the last people to tell me about reality is a politician.

If you are in the district of one of the politicians supporting this legislation, let them know that they don’t know jack about science.

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