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The Accountability Layer

Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who heads the US House of Representatives science committee, defends his draft legislation aimed at changing the peer-review process at the National Science Foundation, the Huffington Post reports.

That draft bill would require NSF to certify that all research it funds advances the "health, prosperity, or welfare" of the US, addresses questions of societal importance, and does not duplicate any other federally funded study. Critics say that the peer-review system should not be tinkered with.

Smith, though, says he wants to ensure that taxpayers' money is well spent. "The draft bill maintains the current peer review process and improves on it by adding a layer of accountability. The intent of the draft legislation is to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent on the highest-quality research possible," he says in a statement, according to the Huffington Post.