Support the NSF and prevent cuts to Social Science Research

Support investments in scientific and economic research; prevent new governmental restrictions and regulations

The House Science Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), has just introduced a bill (H.R. 4186) to reauthorize programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Frontiers in Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) bill dramatically reduces the authorized funding levels for the Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE).

I urge you to fully fund the NSF and the SBE Science Directorate at previous levels, and oppose any effort to place new restrictions on NSF research funding.

Previous research funded by the SBE Directorate includes the works of Nobel Prize winning researchers (the late Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University as well as Daniel Kahneman of Princeton) that examines individual and group decision making. Other work includes research on cyber-security, disasters, solving border disputes between countries, and how foreign aid shocks can result in violent conflict.

It is important that the United States sees funding across all disciplines of basic scientific research supported by the NSF as a top national priority; we should remain in global leader in research. Support for this goal should not include significant, detrimental tradeoffs between one field of research and another. We need to preserve our system of support for research based on scientific merit and objective peer review, without unneeded restriction and regulation.