The Coalition for National Science Funding, in a letter to Senators signed by more than 120 organizations, urges support for the National Science Foundation (NSF) balanced portfolio of research funding based on merit review by independent panels. “Every major issue facing modern society and every major issue facing our economic competitiveness will ultimately be multidisciplinary in nature…[requiring] the integration of the physical sciences or biological sciences with the social and behavioral sciences.”
“We recognize the challenge that our nation faces in addressing the deficit and revitalizing our national economy. However, eliminating support for specific disciplines, such as the House did with respect to political science, sets a dangerous precedent that, in the end, will inhibit scientific progress and restrain our international competitiveness economically and with regard to national security. Congress should exercise its oversight responsibilities, but second-guessing the scientific process could have a chilling effect on scientists and young people considering a future in science. The country cannot afford to lose the incredible talent, experience, and energies of its scientists, regardless of their discipline.
“Therefore, the undersigned organizations again urge you to protect the integrity of the scientific enterprise by ensuring that the NSF and its independent scientific panels determine where the best scientific opportunities are and how to absorb any potential reductions to its budget. Allocating federal investments competitively through scientific merit review is the very process that has led this country to be the world leader in science. We encourage you to provide Congressional oversight by protecting that process rather than allowing others to threaten critical contributions to our innovative spirit and knowledge base.