National Science Foundation responds to Senate staff report

Eddie Bernice Johnson, Ranking Minority Member of the National Science Foundation Committee, has released a  staff report refuting a recent Senate report on the NSF which claims that the agency had wasted  three billion dollars of federal funding.

The Congresswoman stated, “I am sure that the Senate staff report was intended to be an important, detailed review of NSF, but in the end, our Committee staff could find almost no actual savings in the report.  NSF does not have $1.7 billion that they can return to the Treasury.  The report offers no proof that NSF has $1.2 billion in programs that are duplicative with those of other agencies.  Finally the claim by the report’s authors that they could find $65 million in questionable research projects appears to be built on a very superficial examination of the awards—in fact, it appears that at least four of the cited studies were not even funded by NSF.”

“It is important to engage in a serious discussion of those areas of federal spending where we can save money.  However, that dialogue—and our subsequent decisions—should be rooted in the facts.  The allegations in the Senate staff report were very, very serious, but they turn out to be mistaken.  As a result, there is no information in the report that can help inform Congress’s decisions about NSF funding and priorities.”

Committee polls found that few researchers cited in the Senate report felt that it accurately described their work; furthermore, none of the researchers who responded to Committee staff questions had ever been contacted by Senate staff about the work cited in the Senate staff report.

Click here to read more about the Senate report, and Congresswoman Johnson’s response.

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