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.
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...
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