A No-go

The US National Science Foundation declines to give Congress reviewer comments for five grants that are under fire.

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Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas)

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) seems to be adhering to the adage of 'straining at a gnat and swallowing camel', if he is trying to focus on a small part of the Fed budget that goes to NSF. May be he should be focusing on the wastage of larger parts of the budget that go to Defense, for instance. May be the US people should focus on why they pay him, and how much value they get out of him!

Go NSF!!

Go NSF!!

All Federal funding needs

All Federal funding needs reviewed and cut. We need to get over this" my part of the pie is better than yours mentality". Ooopps wrong forum :)

So redact the reviewers names

So redact the reviewers names from the documents submitted. That way they won't be personally identified for embarassment but their rationales for awarding the grants can still be evaluated for soundness and validity. Why should anyone object to this? If people ARE recommending grants on incompetent bases, maybe they could use a little 360-degree feedback. It's my tax money; I have a right to evaluate whether the sytems employed to allocate it are fundamentally sound or not. And yes, I have the right to scrutinize individual instances if I am so inclined. And no, you are not entitled to tell me I'm not qualified to evaluate your evaluation.

Biotrecker, why do you have

Biotrecker, why do you have the right to evaluate my evaluation? What qualifications do you have, or do congressmen, or do taxpayers, to understand the hypothesis, to understand the scientific principles, to see the potential impact of the research, and to understand the big picture? In reflection I hope that you can see why this is a very bad idea. To even supply Rep. Lamar with the reviews would assume that he can understand the science, will do the background research necessary to understand the research, and will talk with experts so that he can understand why the research may have potential impact. You give him too much credit if you think that's what he intends to do. This is one way to try to reduce science funding in the US, nothing more.

This has nothing to do with

This has nothing to do with scientific oversight or funding efficiencies. The five grants just didn't meet Smith's political litmus test. This is why Congress needs to be at an arms length from these decisions as they become political, not scientific. And it's always going to be easy enough to find a few grants in all the thousands handled that any of us might not think are "deserving," but that hardly defines a problem.

This has nothing to do with

This has nothing to do with scientific oversight or funding efficiencies. The five grants just didn't meet Smith's political litmus test. This is why Congress needs to be at an arms length from these decisions as they become political, not scientific. And it's always going to be easy enough to find a few grants in all the thousands handled that any of us might not think are "deserving," but that hardly defines a problem.

This has nothing to do with

This has nothing to do with scientific oversight or funding efficiencies. The five grants just didn't meet Smith's political litmus test. This is why Congress needs to be at an arms length from these decisions as they become political, not scientific. And it's always going to be easy enough to find a few grants in all the thousands handled that any of us might not think are "deserving," but that hardly defines a problem.

Using the same reasoning, the

Using the same reasoning, the fact that some hospitals use federal grants to fund their work does not entitle you to look at other people's medical records.