In response to action in the U.S. House of Representatives, AERA and other scientific societies have sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging that funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and its political science program be maintained. The letter, issued by the Coalition for National Science Funding, argues against efforts to legislate the conduct of research in specific scientific disciplines through the appropriations process and advocates allowing NSF to continue distributing its research funds through merit review procedures. The Senate is expected to begin debate on the FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill in the coming weeks.
The House passed its version of the FY 2013 CJS appropriations bill on May 10, allocating $7.32 billion for NSF, an increase of $287 million from the FY 2012 enacted amount. But the House also approved by a 218-208 vote an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) that would prohibit NSF from funding political science research. Another amendment proposed by Rep. Flake, which would have reduced NSF funding by $1.2 billion, ultimately failed by a 121-291 vote. As reported in June’s AERA Highlights, AERA and other scientific societies mobilized immediately, upon passage of the Flake amendment, to press their concerns about overreach into the merit decisions that appropriately reside within NSF. AERA, in joining other organizations on this letter, seeks to avert similar actions in the Senate.
American Educational Research Association
1430 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
PH: (202) 238-3200
FAX: (202) 238-3250