Lamar Smith (R-TX): Peer Review?  Piffle!  Who Needs That?
Posted: 30 April 2013 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]
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A draft bill obtained by Science Magazine‘s blog ScienceInsider, sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), would strip the peer-review requirement from the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant process, inserting a new set of funding criteria that is significantly less transparent and not inclusive of the opinions of independent experts.

Bravo Lamar, bravo!  To quote a certain blacula hunter, “Balls!  Brass balls!”

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Posted: 02 May 2013 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It just keeps getting weirder and weirder out there.  sick

Science Magazine goes on to note that Smith also recently sent a letter to NSF director Cora Marrett requesting more information on five specific grants — an action without precedent for a chairman of the House Science committee, particularly one who is personally lacking in scientific expertise. That letter reportedly drew a rebuke by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), who wrote to Smith warning that interfering with the peer-review process threatens to “undo everything that has enabled NSF to contribute so profoundly to our national health, prosperity, and welfare.”

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Posted: 03 May 2013 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 02 May 2013 10:05 PM

It just keeps getting weirder and weirder out there.  sick

Science Magazine goes on to note that Smith also recently sent a letter to NSF director Cora Marrett requesting more information on five specific grants — an action without precedent for a chairman of the House Science committee, particularly one who is personally lacking in scientific expertise. That letter reportedly drew a rebuke by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), who wrote to Smith warning that interfering with the peer-review process threatens to “undo everything that has enabled NSF to contribute so profoundly to our national health, prosperity, and welfare.”

Gee, these Dems are dimwits sometimes. Why does this Johnson guy think Lamar Smith is trying to get his crap passed? To streamline the NSF and make it a better organization? No stupid, to undermine the credibility of the NSF and make it easier for creationists and other Fundie crackpots to get associated with it.

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Posted: 13 May 2013 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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CuthbertJ - 03 May 2013 10:27 AM
citizenschallenge.pm - 02 May 2013 10:05 PM

It just keeps getting weirder and weirder out there.  sick

Science Magazine goes on to note that Smith also recently sent a letter to NSF director Cora Marrett requesting more information on five specific grants — an action without precedent for a chairman of the House Science committee, particularly one who is personally lacking in scientific expertise. That letter reportedly drew a rebuke by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), who wrote to Smith warning that interfering with the peer-review process threatens to “undo everything that has enabled NSF to contribute so profoundly to our national health, prosperity, and welfare.”

Gee, these Dems are dimwits sometimes. Why does this Johnson guy think Lamar Smith is trying to get his crap passed? To streamline the NSF and make it a better organization? No stupid, to undermine the credibility of the NSF and make it easier for creationists and other Fundie crackpots to get associated with it.

What Representative Lamar Smith Is Really Trying to Do at NSF
by Jeffrey Mervis on 9 May 2013
http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2013/05/what-representative-lamar-smith-.html?rss=1


“The new push by the House of Representatives science committee to change the grant-making process at the National Science Foundation (NSF) flows from members’ unhappiness over a handful of grants awarded in the social sciences. And the goal is to screen out “questionable” grants.

That explanation comes from a committee aide who was authorized to discuss the draft bill after Science acceded to his request for anonymity. An article in the ( http://www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6133/670.summary )10 May issue of Science describes the origins[/url] of ( http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2013/05/holdren-attacks-house-bill-defen.html ) the controversy regarding the draft written by the chair of the committee[/url], Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX). It also examines his 25 April letter to NSF asking for more information about five recent grants and the current state of play on the issue.
{...}

Q: What’s broken about peer review at NSF that the proposed legislation is trying to fix?

Aide: The concern is with a certain number of specific NSF grants that were awarded that have raised questions in the minds of policymakers about why these projects are being funded. That’s not the peer-review system itself, and the intent of the legislation is not to change the peer-review system. It is the next step after, which is making the awards. It is an additional layer of accountability.

I rather stick to the scientists’ judgement than the judgement of a bunch of TeaPartier’s who are already focused on attacking science with ever dishonest trick in the book.

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Posted: 13 May 2013 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Meet Lamar Smith: SOPA author, climate change skeptic, and Congress’ next science boss
A representative at the helm of America’s future

By T.C. Sottek on December 5, 2012
http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/5/3725768/meet-lamar-smith

...he’s already served on the science committee for the past 26 years. His votes reflect a pattern of opposition to climate change and alternative energy efforts, sympathy to large industry in matters of copyright and patent law, deference to law enforcement on privacy issues, and moral policing of the internet.

Smith’s record on energy and the environment represents one of his most controversial policy arenas. He voted to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, voted no several times on tax credits for renewable energy and incentives for energy production and conservation, voted against raising fuel efficiency standards, and rejected implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Opponents of the appointment have observed in recent days that Smith, like his predecessor Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), have expressed skepticism about man-made global warminga question that suffers no serious objection in scientific literature, but has become a contentious topic of debate after conservative groups cast it as a social problem in the 1990s.

Like I’ve said before, I would just as soon trust educated professional scientist’s integrity than some ideological extremism as highlighted by Lamar’s embracing the Tea Party Caucus
( http://lamarsmith.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=199502 ).

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Posted: 24 May 2013 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Here’s another interesting take on this still unfolding story:

On Science, Politics and Climate Change
U.S. Representative Lamar Representative Lamar Smith’s strutting his science cred.

Bill Chameides |  Scientific American |  May 22, 2013
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=on-science-politics-and-climate-cha&WT;.mc_id=SA_DD_20130523

That impression of reasonableness was soon undercut when I learned that Smith is leading the charge in new legislation that would mandate a new layer of political review at the National Science Foundation (NSF) before granting funding for research projects. This is a bad and radical idea for any number of reasons, including its violation of a tried-and-true conservative maxim: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The U.S. R&D program is the envy of the world. The United States receives more patents than any other country, and families from all over the globe spend huge sums of money to send their sons and daughters to American universities to study with our researchers and work in our labs. Much of that effort is grounded in the funding of grants by the NSF. Smith’s legislation would undermine all that.

Another reason you don’t want to have politicians mucking around in the nuts and bolts of science is that they often have a shaky grasp of the science at best. A case in point, Rep. Smith’s understanding of the state of climate science.

Lamar Smith’s Take on Climate Science . . .

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