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Environment

Democrats Rebut NSF Waste Report

by David J. Hanson
August 1, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 31

The Democratic staff of the House of Representatives Science, Space & Technology Committee has issued an analysis of spending by NSF that refutes a recent Senate report claiming that the science agency had wasted $3 billion in government funds (C&EN, June 20, page 31). The Democratic committee staff “found that the claims were unsubstantiated and reflected a misunderstanding of appropriations law, grant management practices, and the actual findings of Government Accountability Office reports,” said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), ranking member of the science committee, in a statement. The House study also interviewed the researchers with NSF grants that the Senate staff characterized as wasteful. None of these researchers thought that the Senate report accurately described their work. Finally, the House study says there is no justification for claims that some NSF programs, such as its education programs, duplicate other agencies’ programs.

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