Tuesday 30 April 2013

Up Your Oars [Say that fast], Lamar S. Smith! POTUS Rejects Your Right-Wing Scheme To Gut Science Funding!

Yesterday we heard from the ScienceInsider that Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) had plans to do away with pure and social science research. Fear not!

Credit: David Malakoff/Science
Today we hear that POTUS B. Obama spoke before the (United States) National Academy of Sciences this very day, and addressed Rep. Smith's and others' efforts to hobble government-funded science research in the U.S. It is with some glee that I quote from B.O.'s speech, as transcribed in the ScienceInsider.
"[W]e've got to protect our rigorous peer review system and ensure that we only fund proposals that promise the biggest bang for taxpayer dollars," Obama said. "And I will keep working to make sure that our scientific research does not fall victim to political maneuvers or agendas that in some ways would impact on the integrity of the scientific process." 
Obama also gave a shout-out to the social sciences, which have borne the brunt of recent congressional complaints. "[O]ne of the things that I've tried to do over these last 4 years and will continue to do over the next 4 years is to make sure that we are promoting the integrity of our scientific process," he said. "That not just in the physical and life sciences, but also in fields like psychology and anthropology and economics and political science—all of which are sciences because scholars develop and test hypotheses and subject them to peer review—but in all the sciences, we've got to make sure that we are supporting the idea that they're not subject to politics, that they're not skewed by an agenda, that, as I said before, we make sure that we go where the evidence leads us. And that's why we've got to keep investing in these sciences." 
[I have to admit, when, in yesterday's tirade, I made mention of some liberals who "may be of a mind to cave before the present onslaught on science in the U.S.," I had the President in mind---mostly based on his occasional capitulations on the progressive agenda on which he campaigned for both his first and second terms. I'm a bad puppy. Somebody put me down!]

Afterthought: Was Lamar Smith aware yesterday that the POTUS would be speaking to the NAS today? The timing is a bit too good to have been just chance. In that case, was Smith's announcement a "shot over the bow?" 

The score is 1 for the forces good; 0 for the dark side.

But WAIT! This doesn't mean you can put your torches and pitchforks away! We still have to reform Wall Street and transform this economy from its present doldrums. My best advice is to read End This Depression Now, by Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman. He'll guide you through the maze of economic smoke and mirrors that the right and most of the left are putting in front of Americans everywhere. Prof. Krugman diagnosed the fundamental problems that created the Great Depression; he's tried, in vain, to talk over the economic dodos who have the ear of both right and left.

Keep fighting the good fight!


SA announces new posts on the Subversive Archaeologist's facebook page (mirrored on Rob Gargett's news feed), on Robert H. Gargett's Academia.edu page, Rob Gargett's twitter account, and his Google+ page. A few of you have already signed up to receive email when I post. Others have subscribed to the blog's RSS feeds. You can also become a 'member' of the blog through Google Friend Connect. Thank you for your continued patronage. You're the reason I do this.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting!

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.