The chair of the US House Science Committee, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), has continued his campaign to question funding decisions involving the National Science Foundation (NSF) and grants for social, behavioral and economic research. The most recent effort involved the committee making a public records request of NSF to review 30 NSF grants. This followed a similar spring request to review climate change-related grants.
On November 10, the Association of American Universities, issued a statement expressing deep concern that the committee’s “ill-defined investigation” is harming the scientific enterprise by potentially violating the confidentiality of the merit review process and making NSF feel pressured to fund only “safe” research and not potentially important, but obscure proposals.
Science posted an article that provides insight into the on-going dispute.