Ivory tower, under attack

The federal government should stop funding political science and leave the field to pundits and bloggers, says Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)

The Oklahoma Republican introduced an amendment yesterday to an annual appropriations bill that would eliminate funding for the National Science Foundation’s political science research.

Coburn said cable news networks could fill the void

From The Hill.

This idea, when you think about it, has merit. While we’re at it, we should turn economic policy over to the American Enterprise Institute and investment bankers. What could go wrong?

In the event you don’t think this sounds like such a great idea, the POLMETH listserv alerts me to the following:

APSA has posted a link to send e-mails to your respective members of Congress as well as an on-line petition which you may wish to sign. Just go to http://www.apsanet.org/index.cfm if you want to add your name.

4 thoughts on “Ivory tower, under attack

  1. If they pulled that funding, then where would the real experts come from? You know, those who study political systems not to understand how to navigate towards better social and environmental outcomes, but rather to understand how to exploit them for personal and partisan gain?

    Although…I’m guessing that few Karl Rove’s of the world write convincing NSF proposals. Maybe I’m wrong.

  2. Nick,
    Well if they (we) can’t even use that knowledge to prevent getting the boot from the NSF, there’s probably not much to fear on that front.

  3. Just substitute “black studies” or “women’s studies” in for “political science” and “BET” or “Lifetime” for “cable news.” Universities do take in a lot of public money for fields that are irrelevant to society since the private sector dominates in those fields (film, music, literature, etc.).

    Political science on the other hand does seem to contribute something to society.

  4. If political insiders have incentives to eliminate their watchdogs, including political scientists, then the amendment could be ill-intentioned as well as ill-informed.