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Anti-Science House Republicans Introduce Bill to Gut National Science Foundation

Eating the future
Politics • Views: 16,761

The party that denies climate change and still refuses to accept the theory of evolution after more than a century is now planning to gut the National Science Foundation. Because of course they are.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration and the scientific community at large are expressing serious alarm at a House Republican bill that they argue would dramatically undermine way research is conducted in America.

Titled the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2014,” the bill would put a variety of new restrictions on how funds are doled out by the National Science Foundation. The goal, per its Republican supporters on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, would be to weed out projects whose cost can’t be justified or whose sociological purpose is not apparent.

For Democrats and advocates, however, the FIRST Act represents a dangerous injection of politics into science and a direct assault on the much-cherished peer-review process by which grants are awarded.

“We have a system of peer-review science that has served as a model for not only research in this country but in others,” said Bill Andresen, the associate vice president of Federal Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania. “The question is, does Congress really think it has the better ability to determine the scientific merit of grant applications or should it be left up to the scientists and their peers?”

Shudder. This means that one of the people on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee who will be deciding which scientific research should be funded is: Paul Broun, who believes the Big Bang, evolution, and embryology are all “lies straight from the pit of hell.”

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UPDATE at 5/6/14 11:48:02 am

Other Republicans on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee:

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), who drafted a resolution for Americans to “join together in prayer to humbly seek fair weather conditions” after a series of destructive tornados and droughts, is also on the House Science Committee, as is Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who suggested “dinosaur flatulence” may have caused climate change 55 million years ago.

They’re joined by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who has characterized climate science as an “international conspiracy,” as well as Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Fla.), who supports having public-school science teachers offer lessons on “theories that contradict the theory of evolution.”

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