Friday News: Bad

Here is some bad news for scientific research funding, which pretty much missed the news cycle. This will be updated with the reactions and responses which will hit the media cycle next week.

NSF cancels political-science grant cycle
US funding agency said to be dodging restrictions set by Congress.
Beth Mole | Nature
August 2, 2013

The NSF’s decision removes one of the main financial lifelines for political-science research. “This is somewhere between devastating and crippling,” says Henry Farrell, a political scientist at George Washington University in Washington DC and an author of the Monkey Cage, a widely read political-science blog. But Farrell blames the political climate rather than the funding agency for the cut. “The NSF is in an extremely awkward situation,” he says.

. . . . . Avoiding the August funding round may be a strategic move by Hume to see whether the constraints disappear when the next spending bill is passed, says Aldrich. “If he can save the money and spend it later when there’s more clarity, that would be helpful,” Aldrich says.

Other researchers agree. “I think they’re probably worried about upsetting Congress,” says Rick Wilson, a political scientist at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and editor of the American Journal of Political Science. “So why not pull the plug rather than risk it?”

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