Congress votes to ruin my future research
May 11, 2012 2 Comments
I would not argue too greatly with the idea that NSF funds more political science research than is truly worthy. That said, the idea of singling out the political science budget within NSF is wrong on so many levels. Monkey Cage:
The Flake amendment Henry wrote about appears to have passed the House last night with a218-208 vote. The amendment prohibits funding for NSF’s political science program, which among others funds many valuable data collection efforts including the National Election Studies. No other program was singled out like this. The vote was essentially party line, with only 5 Democrats voting in favor and 27 Republicans against. Here are some of our previousposts on Tom Coburn’s failed efforts to achieve the same thing.
This is obviously not the last word on this. The provision may be scrapped in the conference committee (Sarah Binder?). But it is clear that political science research is in real danger of a very serious setback.
The aforementioned National Election Studies, I would suggest, are responsible for somewhere between 70-90% about what we understand about American elections. I use this data all the time in my research, but more notably, I don’t think I’ve published a single piece of scholarship that was not heavily dependent upon the knowledge that’s come from these studies. If this is approved by all of Congress, this would truly be a devastating blow to our future understanding of American politics. Though, I guess Republicans would prefer that.