Counteract Politicization of Federal Science Policy

Counteract Politicization of Federal Science Policy

January 23, 2009

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The federal politicization of science in many areas is harming science itself. Ethics rules and advisory panel guidelines are isolating the market from the marketplace of ideas as commercial interests are frozen out of the science policy debate. With industry R&D investment now double federal funding for the same, this is a significant problem. Moreover, government patronage today threatens to distort science in several areas. If science is to be insulated from the risks associated with patronage, a new, innovative system of federal funding needs to be adopted. One option is the replacement of the current grant system with one based on prizes, lotteries, and loans—a system that would reduce the influence of the politician and grant officer and increase the freedom of the scientist.