APA Supports Congressionally Threatened Political Science Program at NSF

On October 13th, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) proposed an amendment to a Senate bill funding NSF for Fiscal Year 2010 (H.R. 2847) that would strip all funds for the political science program in NSF’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate.
On October 13th, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) proposed an amendment to a Senate bill funding NSF for Fiscal Year 2010 (H.R. 2847) that would strip all funds for the political science program in NSF’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate.  APA weighed in on Capitol Hill in support of political science and the merit review process, urging every Senator to vote “no” on the Coburn amendment, which sought to “redirect funding of the National Science Foundation towards practical scientific research.”  Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee with jurisdiction over NSF, spoke on the Senate floor in strong opposition to Sen. Coburn’s amendment.  She emphasized the critical importance of the social sciences, political science in particular, in addressing issues ranging from conflict negotiation to global innovation, and noted that the recent Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to a woman trained as a political scientist and funded by NSF.  The bill and its amendments continue to be debated in the Senate as SPIN goes to press.