Tuesday, November 30, 2004

At least our kids will know where Elvis was born

Congress Trims Money for Science Agency

"Congress has cut the budget for the National Science Foundation, an engine for research in science and technology, just two years after endorsing a plan to double the amount given to the agency.
...


David M. Stonner, director of Congressional affairs at the science foundation, said on Monday that the reduction might be just the beginning of a period of austerity. Congress, Mr. Stonner said, told the agency to expect "a series of flat or slightly declining budgets for the next several years."

...

Representative Vernon J. Ehlers, Republican of Michigan, said the cut was 'extremely short-sighted' and showed 'dangerous disregard for our nation's future.'

'I am astonished that we would make this decision at a time when other nations continue to surpass our students in math and science and consistently increase their funding of basic research,' said Mr. Ehlers, a former physics professor who is chairman of a technology subcommittee. 'The National Science Foundation supports technological innovation that is crucial to the sustained economic prosperity that America has enjoyed for several decades.'

Representative David R. Obey of Wisconsin, the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said the cut was 'the most Luddite provision' in the entire bill.

...


While cutting the budget of the science foundation, Congress found money for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in Birmingham, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, bathhouses in Hot Springs, Ark., and hundreds of similar projects.

...


Todd C. Mesek, a spokesman for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is receiving $350,000, said the money would be well spent on education programs to teach children about language, the mathematics of music and geography ('cities where rock and roll was fostered'). Some of the money, Mr. Meek said, will be used for 'toddler rock,' a music therapy program. "

I'm not sure I understand all the excitement here. If we've decided to be a nation of citizens who are either ignorant about or rigidly disregard well-established science, it doesn't make much sense to piss away any money at all on the NSF.

(via The Poorman)




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