Congressional grant inquisition moves into GEO

If you hadn’t heard, the chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has been investigating a bunch of individual awards NSF has made.  The investigation has included examination of the peer reviews and internal memoranda within NSF on these grants. An updated list of the grants being examined now includes three in the GEO directorate:

  • Collaborative Research: Turbulence and Suspension Feeding – a New Approach using the Lobate Ctenophore Mnemiopsis Leidyi, John Dabiri, Caltech
  • Participant Support for the Zero Emissions Category of the Clean Snowmobile Challenge, Jay Meldrum, Michigan Tech
  • Geoinformatics: Leveraging the Paleobiology Database for Research, Education, Mentorship, and Interoperability, Shanan Peters, Univ. Wisconsin Madison

Now maybe the committee is picking names out of a hat, but two of the three hint at some conservative hot button items (global climate change and evolution). (Maybe the third was one where they all looked at each other and asked “what is a Lobate Ctenophore Mnemiopsis Leidyi? Sounds kind of kinky.” Bet they are disappointed now).

As Grumpy here said before, there are plenty of things you could go after in government funding of science that might improve things.  Cherry picking some grants doesn’t seem to be one of them.

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