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  1. Default U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencein...criteri-1.html


  2. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    I didn't even need to click the thread to know that Republican hijinks were going to be highlighted. A lawmaker meddling in science? Who else but a Republican? Oh you! -Insert 90's audience laugh track- The fact that a Conservative Texan chairs the committee is more concerning than a bill that won't get through the Senate.

    Edit: Nevermind, I just reread and caught that they were attaching these things to unrelated bills.

  3. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    Sorry that the censor will veil the effect my response, but this is hell bullpomegranate.

    edit: I will be back in the evening (it's half-9 here) to fully address this issue, if it's not already done so by others. Sorry have a lecture to rush to.

    Hadriel

  4. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    lol at "High Quality Research Act". That's rich.

  5. Orbital Bee Cannon
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    Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    Damn right!
    The US Government should only be funding studies into new weapon systems. The defense industry needs all the help it can get.
    Meanwhile, those long-haired commie hippies in the so-called "social sciences" will have to look elsewhere for someone to fund their "studies", which we all know are aimed at weakening the moral fiber of America.

    Spoiler

  6. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    3) "not duplicative of other research projects being funded by the Foundation or other Federal science agencies."

    I agree with this one, this is a huge problem.

  7. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    Alright now that I'm back, let's get to work venting my incredible disapproval of this proposal. I am not from the US but I have read about and been through several science agencies (not necessarily directly, but that's not important).

    Ok. So anything that doesn't have to do with medicine/biological sciences, engineering, psychology, chemical syntheses and related industrial technology -- i.e. nothing to do with STEM and defense and welfare/psychological research -- needs to go. This is no better than saying that research that doesn't benefit the country needs to go. Seriously wtp. Science doesn't live for the country. Science lives for mankind. Archaeological research, basic science research, political sciences etc. research that has little direct impact on the country will go. I find myself able to support this case if there is a second national agency that provides a similar funding to those areas not included by this statement. Is this true/likely to be true?

    In short, this statement sounds to me just like "Science is for us to make money or reduce costs.". This is just sad. Reminds me of orphan diseases and pharmaceutics.

    Right... so you claim to fund the best research, by taking away the QC process. Well done.

    Science is driven partly by needs, partly by curiosity, and occasionally by serendipity. Who are you to determine if a research is groundbreaking? What isn't 20 years ago, might be so 20 years later.

    Who determines what is important to the society? You? Ahahah. Sounds yet like another "Science is for us to make money." statement. This only allows science to be twisted by politics - who knows the government might say that atmospheric science is unimportant because someone up there claims that global warming is pure rubbish (I'm not saying it is or isn't rubbish, but to stop people from investigating something by saying it isn't is pure unscientific bullpomegranate).

    The basis of scientific discovery is to produce duplicable results. Sure, some experiments can't be repeated for multiple reasons, but that's besides the point. You want to fund researchers to get results, but deny them the funding to verify the results of similarly-funded people? Aren't you being hypocritical?


    In what ways do these address the problem of "frivolous and wasteful research"? They do so by cutting off funding to research to areas that the government, not the scientific community, considers frivolous. Sure I'm pretty confident that there is indeed wasteful research going on out there. But you don't stop stop a leaking tap by turning off the water supply. You fix the damn bloody tap. It is foolish and detrimental to control scientific spending by telling us what we can do and what we can't. This is different from encouraging us to... err.. support the economy using our science, by changing the amount of funding available to various types of research. Science stems from curiosity; don't make us lose our inquisitiveness and become tools.

    Ok let's see... In what way does the current situation fail to control wasteful research? It sounds like the first part is the problem. How knowledgeable is the reviewer in the proposal's field? How does NSF consider what is more intellectually merited and what is less? Do reviewers do sufficient communication and background checks to ensure that excessively overlapping research is identified? What if two groups are fighting for the same topic? All these questions can be easily answered, and if any problems identified, easily addressed. Seriously, those statements in the bill make it sound myopic and have little care for what science actually is - sieving out 5 bad research proposals out of many thousands and saying that there is something wrong with the funding system is a very hasty generalisation, especially when the system is not perfect and cannot be perfect.

    Invest in the NSF to have more manpower and training (wadever necessary) to reduce bad proposals getting funded. The cost is paid off over several years of savings.

    Hadriel

  8. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    @hadriel;

    There are litterally identical research projects by two different companies.

  9. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    That's a problem with economics, in that competition drives the economy. But now you want to stop competition in funding by giving the funding to the best proposal. I cannot offer a suggestion here. It's just a problem with the system that I would be ill-advised in.

    Groups sometimes rush research for the fear of being scooped. I... really don't know what to say about that sort of competition too, but it does affect the quality of the research at times.

    Hadriel


  10. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    Guess I'll just say that what is dirt to one is gold to another.

    Hadriel

  11. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    ->GOVERNMENT HAS UNCONTROLLABLE SPENDING
    ->tries to limit spending on stuff that is ridiculous
    -> BUT THAT RESEARCH ON IF PIZZA CAN SURVIVE IN SPACE IS IMPORTANT TO A VERY VERY SMALL GROUP.

    Sure there are better places to cut, but sh`it like this is a good place to start.

  12. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    Oh look, its Lamar Smith. He's the same guy that was pushing really hard for SOPA.

    No, just no.

  13. Orbital Bee Cannon
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    Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    But he's not saying to cut the NSF's budget. He just wants to change who benefits from it.

    Perhaps the NSF needs to update its list of peer reviewers, if they're okaying "frivolous" research. Either that or what appears frivolous to you and me actually tests important principles, and the peer reviewers are able to appreciate that.

    As for duplicate research: Maybe if it's worth funding once, it's worth funding twice? There's an old Jewish saying, "The rivalry of scholars increases wisdom." Having two groups racing to get useful results from similar researches might be beneficial.

  14. Default Re: U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants


    Are any of those examples I just posted worth funding once, let alone twice? I don't necessarily agree with the bill, but this program certainly needs a revamp.

    Considering our current economic situation, I feel as though priorities should exist and these random factoids we're trying to discover are currently worthless.

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