Banned in DC

Inside Higher Ed today has a lengthy article on debate within political science over what to do about the U.S. Senate vote to ban NSF support for most research in the field.

…A number of political scientists are calling for a new approach to lobbying, and for the discipline to become more engaged in … politics. Why, they are asking, was a field devoted to the study of government unable to win support for keeping a mere $13 million in the budget? Could a different lobbying or public relations strategy have changed things — and might it change things going forward? Also up for debate is an exemption added to the Senate measure that would permit the NSF to back political science research deemed essential to national security or economic interest. Some see this part of the measure as a giant loophole that (with a little grant-writing finesse) can clear the way for most projects to continue to receive support. Others see the measure as accepting the idea that only research with immediately clear practical implications is worthy of support — a principle that would doom many social science studies (and potentially work done in other disciplines as well)…

An earlier article on the Senate vote itself is at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/03/21/senate-votes-defund-political-science-research-save-tuition-assistance-budget-bill

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