In considering the charges brought forth by Kaib and Glitzenstein in their petition to the National Science Foundation, two questions arise: First, are the charges realistic, or are they based on questionable assumptions and misunderstood information? Second. how does NSF actually deal with the kinds of matters raised?

KaIb and Glitzenstein have accused NSF of maintaining a secret filing system for the sole purpose of preventing grant applicant’s from seeing and amending erroneous peer review records.” Under NSF’s current “scheme,” they say, a grant application “can be thrown out if a reviewer or panelist makes an unfounded allegation about the scientist’s reputation or character.”

In the 37-page “petition for rulemaking” (a legal procedure that, by the way, has no applicability to NSF) Glitzenstein repeatedly misparaphrases statements from NSF reports, takes them out of context, and presents tortured interpretations of NSF regulations and practices. He paints such a distorted picture of...

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