Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 3293

Should the National Science Foundation Decide if Proposed Research Grants are in the National Interest?

Argument in favor

Before the federal government spends taxpayer dollars on new grants or contracts for scientific research it should require the National Science Foundation to verify that the research is in the national interest.

SherryTX's Opinion
···
02/10/2016
Personally I would be happy if research was privately funded. If it MUST be funded by my tax dollars than it SHOULD benefit the national interest. I would further stipulate that it should not include research that concludes gay men in Cuba are more promiscuous after doing cocaine. Yes, that was funded by your tax dollars. There was another that put shrimp on mini treadmills.
Like (9)
Follow
Share
Loraki's Opinion
···
10/05/2016
One Small Step for Waste, One Giant Leap for Wastekind 10.04.16 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, chairman of the Federal Spending Oversight Subcommittee, released the latest edition of ‘The Waste Report,’ an ongoing project cataloguing egregious examples of waste within the U.S. government. We all learned, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” in school, but is that what Neil Armstrong really said during his 1969 moon landing? A recent study drew on two National Science Foundation grants, totaling more than $700,000 of taxpayer money, to find out why we may have heard something different than what Armstrong claimed he actually said. Today’s Report details if they succeeded and reveals the intended purpose of the grants, which did not even mention Armstrong. You can find ‘The Waste Report’ HERE or below. https://www.paul.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/OneSmallStep.pdf *** When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon in 1969, he uttered certainly some of the most famous words in human history: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Or did he? Armstrong said that he was misquoted by having an “a” omitted from his statement, claiming it should have been “step for [a] man.”[1] Quite the earth-shattering controversy we have on our hands here. Nope? Not interested? Don’t care? Well, maybe you will care about this: the National Science Foundation helped fund a study which brought together researchers from four major universities[2] to find the missing “a.” To explain the mystery, researchers even sought out subjects with dialectal familiarity to Armstrong – people from Ohio.[3] The study drew on two NSF grants totaling more than $700k.[4] Though the research was just published this month, one of the grants came from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.[5] “Shovel ready” indeed. So, did they solve the mystery? Well, no. In the end, researchers believe that the speed at which one part of a sentence is said, relative to the rest of the sentence, affects identification of words like “a.”[6] Listeners in experiments did not universally miss the “a” and certainly not to the extent it was apparently missed by listeners of Armstrong’s statement on the moon and in recordings. Thus, “[t]hese results demonstrate that substantial ambiguity exists in the original quote from Armstrong.”[7] Truly groundbreaking. So, why did NSF think this study deserved your tax dollars? Well, they might not have. As The Waste Report has noted in the past, once a grant goes out the door, there is no further accounting of where that money winds up and how much goes to a given project. In this case, the intended purpose of these grants was to help improve and understand communications for persons with conditions that may affect speech, such as autism, stuttering, and Parkinson’s disease[8] - not what Neil Armstrong said on the moon. The grant synopses makes no mention of Armstrong, nor does the paper assert that he suffered from a condition that would affect his speech. Sounds like NSF funds might be getting lost in transmission ### [1] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155975.PDF [2] University of Oregon, Ohio State, Michigan State, and George Mason University. [3] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155975.PDF [4] NSF award numbers: 0847653 and 1431063 [5] NSF award numbers: 0847653 [6] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155975.PDF [8] NSF award numbers: 0847653 and 1431063
Like (6)
Follow
Share
Quentin's Opinion
···
02/19/2016
As a country we support too little of education, therefore we are indefinitely placing disruption to our future, in order to fix that we must revive the 1950's mentality, in which fought for broader horizons, unlimited reaches of wonder, and a search for the beyond; this bill is a beginning to that belief. We must support it, and, always, fight for knowledge. We must protect our future by investing in today.
Like (2)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

The U.S. shouldn’t require proposed scientific research to benefit the national interest, as that could lead other governments to horde their own research, and unfettered research would help with global development.

Tim's Opinion
···
02/11/2016
It is extremely difficult for anyone, including scientists, to determine what future benefits or additional discoveries a particular study may lead to. We should not limit ourselves to only currently beneficial research.
Like (33)
Follow
Share
Pslebleu's Opinion
···
02/11/2016
You never know when something will benefit everyone and it becomes selective research which could be controlled by a few people. Bad precedent!
Like (16)
Follow
Share
Chris's Opinion
···
02/10/2016
The scientific endeavor should not be subject to a committee that controls what research should or should not be done. Questions of ethics and the like are already reviewed before research grants can be given.
Like (8)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • The house Passed February 10th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 236 Yea / 178 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
    IntroducedJuly 29th, 2015

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

What is House Bill H.R. 3293?

This bill would direct the National Science Foundation (NSF) to award funding for basic research and education in the sciences under a new research grant or cooperative agreement only if it has been justified in writing.

The NSF would be responsible for affirming in writing that the grant or agreement promotes the progress of science in the U.S. NSF would also affirm that the project is worthy of federal funding, and meets certain other criteria. In addition to promoting science in the U.S., grants could only go to initiatives that further the national interest, specifically if it promotes:

  • Increased economic competitiveness in the U.S.;

  • The general health and welfare of the American public;

  • Development of an American STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) workforce that is globally competitive;

  • Increased public scientific literacy and engagement with science and technology in the U.S.;

  • Increased partnerships between academia and industry in the U.S.;

  • National defense efforts.

The NSF’s determination would be made after a research grant or cooperative agreement proposal has satisfied the NSF’s reviews for Merit and Broader Impacts.

Impact

Scientific researchers with access to new research grants or cooperative agreements, private industry, academia, and the National Science Foundation.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3293

$0.00
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would not increase spending.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced this legislation to ensure that the National Science Foundation demonstrates to taxpayers that scientific research grants will benefit the national interest and that the project merits federal support:

“Investments in basic research can lead to discoveries that change our world, expand our horizons and save lives. But we cannot afford to waste taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. For instance, the almost million dollars spent on a climate change musical could have funded research to meet real national priorities such as predicting severe weather events, discovering new sources of energy, and improving cybersecurity. All government employees and their agency heads need to remember they are accountable to the American taxpayer who pays their salaries and funds their projects.  It is not the government's money; it's the people's money.”

This legislation was passed by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee by a voice vote, and it currently has the support of 22 cosponsors in the House — all but two of whom are Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user DoD News Features)

AKA

Scientific Research in the National Interest Act

Official Title

To provide for greater accountability in Federal funding for scientific research, to promote the progress of science in the United States that serves that national interest.

    Personally I would be happy if research was privately funded. If it MUST be funded by my tax dollars than it SHOULD benefit the national interest. I would further stipulate that it should not include research that concludes gay men in Cuba are more promiscuous after doing cocaine. Yes, that was funded by your tax dollars. There was another that put shrimp on mini treadmills.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    It is extremely difficult for anyone, including scientists, to determine what future benefits or additional discoveries a particular study may lead to. We should not limit ourselves to only currently beneficial research.
    Like (33)
    Follow
    Share
    You never know when something will benefit everyone and it becomes selective research which could be controlled by a few people. Bad precedent!
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    The scientific endeavor should not be subject to a committee that controls what research should or should not be done. Questions of ethics and the like are already reviewed before research grants can be given.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    One Small Step for Waste, One Giant Leap for Wastekind 10.04.16 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, chairman of the Federal Spending Oversight Subcommittee, released the latest edition of ‘The Waste Report,’ an ongoing project cataloguing egregious examples of waste within the U.S. government. We all learned, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” in school, but is that what Neil Armstrong really said during his 1969 moon landing? A recent study drew on two National Science Foundation grants, totaling more than $700,000 of taxpayer money, to find out why we may have heard something different than what Armstrong claimed he actually said. Today’s Report details if they succeeded and reveals the intended purpose of the grants, which did not even mention Armstrong. You can find ‘The Waste Report’ HERE or below. https://www.paul.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/OneSmallStep.pdf *** When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon in 1969, he uttered certainly some of the most famous words in human history: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Or did he? Armstrong said that he was misquoted by having an “a” omitted from his statement, claiming it should have been “step for [a] man.”[1] Quite the earth-shattering controversy we have on our hands here. Nope? Not interested? Don’t care? Well, maybe you will care about this: the National Science Foundation helped fund a study which brought together researchers from four major universities[2] to find the missing “a.” To explain the mystery, researchers even sought out subjects with dialectal familiarity to Armstrong – people from Ohio.[3] The study drew on two NSF grants totaling more than $700k.[4] Though the research was just published this month, one of the grants came from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.[5] “Shovel ready” indeed. So, did they solve the mystery? Well, no. In the end, researchers believe that the speed at which one part of a sentence is said, relative to the rest of the sentence, affects identification of words like “a.”[6] Listeners in experiments did not universally miss the “a” and certainly not to the extent it was apparently missed by listeners of Armstrong’s statement on the moon and in recordings. Thus, “[t]hese results demonstrate that substantial ambiguity exists in the original quote from Armstrong.”[7] Truly groundbreaking. So, why did NSF think this study deserved your tax dollars? Well, they might not have. As The Waste Report has noted in the past, once a grant goes out the door, there is no further accounting of where that money winds up and how much goes to a given project. In this case, the intended purpose of these grants was to help improve and understand communications for persons with conditions that may affect speech, such as autism, stuttering, and Parkinson’s disease[8] - not what Neil Armstrong said on the moon. The grant synopses makes no mention of Armstrong, nor does the paper assert that he suffered from a condition that would affect his speech. Sounds like NSF funds might be getting lost in transmission ### [1] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155975.PDF [2] University of Oregon, Ohio State, Michigan State, and George Mason University. [3] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155975.PDF [4] NSF award numbers: 0847653 and 1431063 [5] NSF award numbers: 0847653 [6] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155975.PDF [8] NSF award numbers: 0847653 and 1431063
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    This is appalling. Science and research in general is for the betterment of humanity, not just our country. And who's to say what is best for our country anyway?
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a roundabout and unfair way to try to force research to 'prove' worth to politicians. NSF research has to show importance to a committee trained in these scientific areas anyway before money is awarded and isn't that where we should leave it - with a panel of experts in the field who know best? Believe me, I have had an NSF and you *must* point out why it is important and what broader impacts the research will have - including how it can help people here in the US. We often do not know exactly how it will benefit only US citizens, but how narrow minded we are if we can't consider some broad impacts to those outside of the US. No matter what Rep. Smith or Sen. Paul say about waste - it's a very small percentage of a budget where the majority of money goes to military spending.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    We should allow scientists to do research in the interest of knowledge and for the betterment of the human condition, not in the interest of a singular country. If the interests of a nation and a research project line up all the better for that cause, but that should not be a prerequisite for research.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    What does 'National Interest' mean? Who defines it?
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    There are such things as academic integrity and academic freedom.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    As a country we support too little of education, therefore we are indefinitely placing disruption to our future, in order to fix that we must revive the 1950's mentality, in which fought for broader horizons, unlimited reaches of wonder, and a search for the beyond; this bill is a beginning to that belief. We must support it, and, always, fight for knowledge. We must protect our future by investing in today.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Deciding what the results of a scientific inquiry are (and whether they're in the federal government's interest) is no way to do science. Don't shackle scientists with pre-determined results.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    While I agree with this on one level - it feels like unnecessary bureaucracy on another. The biggest issue here is who signs off that said grants are benefiting the National Interest. Congress are not experts on the Sciences, normally. There will be research that may not benefit us, but might be done on the chance it could, or open up new knowledge. A lot of science is rigorous testing, and requiring all grants being given by the NSF - which already has their own criteria to determine eligibility and worthiness, is just another additional bureaucratic hurdle to expanding our horizons and understandings.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    The "national interest" is a difficult category to define, and the outcomes of research are often not known until it is done.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    More pork, no more federal agencies making decisions for us. Many must her moved to stop the waste and "empire building".
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Common sense says you should research the value of the money you are going to spend!
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    We surely aren't quite this selfish and self absorbed yet are we?
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    All research benefits the nation as long as it conforms to ethical standards. But that's different than whether it's profitable for the nation.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Why continue to spend money so private corporations can take advantage of government funded research and make billions
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Scientific prof
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE