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April 14th, 2014

In the News: Attention SHOT Members

SHOT Members:

The House of Representatives has been working on legislation to reauthorize funding for the National Science Foundation,  and competing bills have been introduced by the majority republicans and minority Democrats. The Republican measure, is named the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act and cuts funding for the social sciences by $50 million.  This is not the first time that opposition to the social sciences has emerged in Congress, but it is always troubling because NSF has always relied upon the scientific communities themselves, not political decision makers, for indications of the most exciting fields and questions to which funding should be directed.  In addition, NSF always uses peer-review procedures to make decisions about funding.

I draw the current proposal to your attention because this measure has the potential to impact the Science and Technology Studies Program in the Social Science Directorate, the office that is the largest source of funding for scholarship in the history and philosophy of science and technology.

The following link to the Consortia of Social Science Associations (COSSA) provides information about the FIRST Act issues and directions for those of you who wish to express your opinions to members of Congress.


The SHOT Executive Council will add this issue to the agenda for its upcoming spring meeting during the last weekend of April. I am in contact with the American Historical Association, the History of Science Society and the American Society for Environmental History.

Thanks for your attention to this issue.

Bruce Seely


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