Pork for science - good or bad?

Congressional earmarks are typically associated with bridges, parks, or other public works -- but science? Indeed, science is also a recipient of this process, in which money comes directly from the appropriations bills (i.e - your tax dollars), sans the competition that marks most government awards, courtesy of legislators adept at funneling cash into their home states.Image: Steven Lek via Wikimedia Commons Research funded by earmarks usually comes in the form of agricultural and defense pro

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Feb 10, 2010
Congressional earmarks are typically associated with bridges, parks, or other public works -- but science? Indeed, science is also a recipient of this process, in which money comes directly from the appropriations bills (i.e - your tax dollars), sans the competition that marks most government awards, courtesy of legislators adept at funneling cash into their home states.
Image: Steven Lek via Wikimedia Commons
Research funded by earmarks usually comes in the form of agricultural and defense projects but science involving green energy and biomedicine have been increasing in recent years, according to David Williams, vice president for policy at watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW). "We're concerned that there aren't a lot of checks and balances and there's thin oversight on money that's awarded through Congressional earmarks," he told __The Scientist__. "When you don't have a competitive vetting process, everyone doesn't get treated equally," said Williams. "It's obviously very...
From FY 2009 appropriation bills:From FY 2008 appropriation bills:From FY 2006 appropriation bills:From FY 2005 appropriation bills:



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