Eric Cantor - Republican Whip or Anti-science Republican Scourge?

Eric Cantor, the republican House Majority Leader Elect, has launched YouCut, a program in which people report what they construe as “wasteful spending” by Congress. Sounds awesome, right? Not so fast, my friend. They’re specifically going after the National Science Foundation, and attempting to say that the few paltry million dollars saved each year on grants the general public is not even qualified to evaluate is going to make a dent. :rolleyes:

This is an antiscience Inquisition. Let the persecution begin, I guess.

Well, given that only 6% of scientists are Republicans, this seems right. How can we get science to support Republican priorities if we don’t put their funding in the hands of politicians? The politicians already know the correct answers, so why fund science that disagrees?

Former Doper, The Bad Astronomer points that it is not only Cantor:

Really, did Republicans that appreciate science and Independents voted to get that kind of sorry leadership to get control of congress? Or they just were not aware of the anti-science positions most of the Republicans had?

To be fair, Ralph Hall isn’t just opposed to science, he’s also against any sense of human decency:

Yikes. My grad school funding comes from an NSF grant. I’m a little worried that the YouCut Citizens Review might not be well versed enough in pure mathematics to properly evaluate whether or not my research is wasteful.

Is there any way you can tweak your research topic a bit, so that it can be titled:

“The applications of combinatorics and algebraic topology towards a grand unified theory of how to find that lost remote control.”


“Relativity, calculus and NASCAR: A practical approach”

You’ll be fine. Nobody gets angry at people who study the topology of semi-algebraic functions or applications of twisted K-theory, because nobody really understands what that means well enough to get up in arms about it.

It’s going to be the biology departments that suffer the most - people think they know what it means for someone to be studying the enzymatic reactions of bananas. The sad part is that its those areas that are currently seeing the worst imbalance of public/private funding, and this will only make that worse. Can’t wait for gene and pharma research to get even more proprietary, corporatized, and secret.

Science is definitely anti-Republican, liberal, socialist, and probably Muslim. Science denies the magical properties of gold. And it failed to explain where Saddam put the WMD. It also promotes gayness, when it could be dedicated to finding cures. But the very worst aspect of science, is that it encourages people to believe what they see, and not what they hear on Fox News.

So unless science apologizes for causing natural disasters, economic downturns, and high taxes, it should be banned. There is no Constitutional right to science, and if our founding fathers believed in science, they would have put it in the Constitution. Now this is a free country, and people have the right to believe in science if they want to, at least until it is banned, but everybody knows that belief in science is a gateway to other evils like consistent priniciples, objectivity, and Dan Rather.

I’m going out to buy some more guns tomorrow, because as long as mindless scientists can roam the streets with decent God fearing people, none of us are safe. God bless you Eric Cantor for putting an end to this societal scourge, and sounding the alarm to warn us all of the evil agenda of science, and its anti-American goals.

And all of you liberal Nazis out there, let me ask you a question. When the black helicopters land, and the illegal Mexican terrorists come to take away your hard earned tax break, who would you rather have on your side? An anemic, myopic, scientist, or a patriotic, Teabagger who understands intelligent design? Don’t learn the lesson the hard way, end science now before it dooms us all.

Cantor is not the first Republican to try to politicize grants for research.

As this article points out, though, both Democrats and Republicans try to insert their beliefs into decisions on research funding. The current poster boy for funding woo through the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). And the guy who popularized assaults on scientific research through ridicule is Sen. William Proxmire (D-WI) with his “Golden Fleece” awards.

Why is it that whenever people talk about budget cuts, they go right for NASA or now the NSF? FFS, they’re one of the few government programs that’s almost unambiguously good for humanity - they’re good for our advancement of knowledge, and they provide economic output greater than the paltry funding we give them. Something resonates with the fucking ignorant public where they want to say HERP DERP DERP LET’S NOT SEND A PROBE TO MARS, CAUSE THEN WE CAN FEED EVERYONE ON EARTH INSTEAD HERP DERP DERP!!! for some fucking reason. Really, there aren’t better cuts to make you fucking celebrators of ignorance?

Fuck. Biology funding was already at one of the worst points in decades. The latest round of grants approved around 7.5% of applications, when historically it’s been around 10% (this from my advisor, so if those numbers are wrong, blame him). Thankfully, he just got his first grant, so we’re secure for a while. Speaking as a scientist in training, I’m seriously considering moving overseas to do research there when I’ve graduated.

You’d think the republicans would do a better job serving their masters - put more funding into biology through public institutions, and let a big pharma company come in after the basic research was done, and then monopolize and commercialize the work that publically funded scientists did the heavy lifting on.

Good, we don’t want your socialist commie-loving science over here in the good ole US-of-A anyway!

In fairness, your colleagues must just have submitted a bunch of really stupid research proposals this year.

Yeah, well, your mother. Seriously, how would you know that?

I Welcome Our Even Stupider Instantiation of Proxmire’s Golden Fleece Awards.

Maybe it’ll inspire another decent book out of Pournelle and Niven?

Relax, sparky. It was a joke, son, I say a joke.

HA! Good luck! In my field, scientists are moving either to the USA or to Germany, since those are the only places hiring right now.

There’s several reasons why I despise the GOP and will NEVER vote for them, and their anti-science stance is maybe the biggest one.

Did you guys know that Cantor is widely lauded as the intellectual powerhouse of the GOP? Bringing in fresh, new, original ideas! Like, tax cuts!