Thursday, May 25, 2006

Why Pay for the Social Sciences?

Another of my commentaries from the Murphy Report.


While only a minor blip on the radar screen of most Americans, there was a major shakeup of about 8.8 in the world of the social sciences last week. I’m referring to the amendment of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (S 2802) proposed by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX. The amendment’s original wording gave preference to NSF (National Science Foundation) funding for research involving “physical science, technology, engineering, or mathematics,” over that of the social sciences - sociology, anthropology, geography, economics, psychology, political science, education, and history [1]. Oddly, in terms of tax dollar funding, Senator Hutchison also included biology (a life science) and geology (a physical science) as part of this “second class” of scientific endeavors.

For the rest, go to my column.

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