House subcommittee approves bill that would cut NSF social science research | Inside Higher Ed
"A House of Representatives subcommittee on Wednesday advanced legislation that would keep total funding targets for the National Science Foundation at roughly their current levels but would slash the agency’s budget for social and behavioral science research ... The bill would cut social and behavior science research funding to $200 million, a 22 percent decrease from its current $256 million. Republicans on the panel initially sought to cut social science research by 44 percent in the proposal, but agreed to adopt an amendment by Rep. Dan Lipinski -- the top Democrat on the panel and a former political science professor -- that restored $50 million to that research category. STEM-related categories of research would see a boost in funding while further cuts would come from the International and Integrative Activities Directorate as well as the Geosciences Directorate, which funds climate research. Republicans, like Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who chairs the House science committee, said that the funding levels reflect the need to emphasize 'areas of science and research that are crucial to economic growth' ... Research advocates, including the Association of American Universities, also balked at other provisions in the proposal that they view as unwanted political incursions into federal funding of scientific research ... Advocates for social science research defeated a similar restriction earlier this year when the omnibus appropriations bill removed restrictions on the types of political science research that the NSF could fund. The provision, pushed by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a Republican, permitted funding only for political science research that directly promoted national security and U.S. economic interests. Another provision in the bill dealing with public access to the results of federally funded research has drawn the ire of open-access advocates, who say it would undermine the Obama administration’s directive last year for agencies to provide access to research within a year of its publication. The legislation would, among other things, embargo scientific discoveries for up to three years after they are published ..."