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Old 05-27-2011, 07:58 AM
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Default Senate Report Finds Billions in Waste on Science Foundation Studies

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Scientific studies conducted in the public interest appear to have veered off course, according to a new report that documents government-sponsored research gems such as having shrimp walk on tiny treadmills to measure the impact of sickness on crustaceans.
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While the exercises may be adorable to watch, Sen. Tom Coburn says he's not so sure it advances the cause of science.

The Oklahoma Republican issued a new report Thursday that concludes the National Science Foundation has misspent $3 billion on "waste, fraud, duplication and mismanagement." It offers a list of research projects that could have been left as questions for the universe.

Among them, $2 million to analyze 38 million photos on Flickr and cross-reference them against the site's social networking service. Turns out, researchers concluded, that friends generally post photos on the Internet depicting the same place at the same time.

Some other beauties: A $315,000 NSF-funded study on whether playing Facebook's FarmVille can help adults develop relationships; $80,000 to examine why the same teams always end up leading March Madness; and a $1.5 million grant for scientists to design a robot that can fold laundry -- at a rate of one towel every 25 minutes.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/26/senate-report-finds-billions-waste-science-foundation-studies/#ixzz1NYKyto48


A $6.9 billion budget in 2010, for this nonsense? It beggars belief!
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Senate Report Finds Billions in Waste on Science Foundation Studies

Yep, cant have that science going on, might find something you dont like.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Senate Report Finds Billions in Waste on Science Foundation Studies

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Yep, cant have that science going on, might find something you dont like.
Mak, the thread is about wasted money in government grants, not the defunding of scientific projects, some of which I happen to agree. The list of useless projects is long, and in this time of short money, it might be wise to ask if we really need to know if shrimp can be taught to walk a treadmill.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Senate Report Finds Billions in Waste on Science Foundation Studies

I would have to see the study on the shrimp, it is not easy to get federal grant money approved with no merit. One of the complaints is there is no "pure" science (without known application) anymore.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Senate Report Finds Billions in Waste on Science Foundation Studies

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I would have to see the study on the shrimp, it is not easy to get federal grant money approved with no merit. One of the complaints is there is no "pure" science (without known application) anymore.
Well there is fetal stem cell research on cells harvested from aborted babies. That research has been going on for decades and has yet to yield one single treatment that is applicable to humans. I'd guess by your definition above then that would qualify as pure science since it has no known application.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Senate Report Finds Billions in Waste on Science Foundation Studies

I don't necessarily agree that funding of pure science is a negative in all cases, but I'm not sure that getting a grant for a useless study is all that difficult. A lot of funding goes to nothing more than padding a researchers resume and serves no useful purpose. OTOH, naysayers do have a habit of picking out a small part of a project for focus and ignoring the overall benefit. The treadmilling shrimp, for instance, could well be part of a study of the decrease of shrimp in the Gulf. Both sides pick whatever it takes to further their position and agenda, so it is not a political issue. Other research could be better funded by private enterprise if the potential for economic benefit is there. NEA, for example just announced a grant program of up to $250 K each to develop video games. I'm not sure whether this should fall under entertainment, science, or art, but I am fairly sure that it should not be funded by government. If it is a viable business prospect, than private industry will fund it. If not, maybe we don't need it.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Senate Report Finds Billions in Waste on Science Foundation Studies

Hell, I can answer the study on Farmville by Facebook. It helps destroy relationships cause the dummies get so wrapped up in it they no longer function normally! I have first hand knowledge of this problem.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Senate Report Finds Billions in Waste on Science Foundation Studies

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Hell, I can answer the study on Farmville by Facebook. It helps destroy relationships cause the dummies get so wrapped up in it they no longer function normally! I have first hand knowledge of this problem.
So Muley, if you can figger it out, why aren't you smart enough to apply for a grant before sharing it with us. That study ought to be worth a few hundred K at a minimum
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