29 May 2011

Oklahoma Republican vs National Science Foundation

This acerbic article in the Fair and Balanced about some perceived misdeeds by NSF should be refuted, if only to protect scientists and, especially, scientific freedom from being attacked for purely political reasons. So I will fisk some of the more outrageous misstatements to let you all see the light. Let's start:

"...having shrimp walk on tiny treadmills to measure the impact of sickness on crustaceans." And what if this groundbreaking research leads to a new breed of muscular and tasty shrimp that could be taught to take an underwater conveyor belt directly to a pot with boiling water on the shore?

"A $315,000 NSF-funded study on whether playing Facebook's FarmVille can help adults develop relationships". Of course, for those who prefer these sleazy dating sites that steal your identity and mislead you, this may sound ridiculous. Think again.

"a $1.5 million grant for scientists to design a robot that can fold laundry -- at a rate of one towel every 25 minutes". This robot is already outperforming me, and with some improvement and miniaturization by Taiwanese wizards it will become a savior for many families on the brink of breakup because of the hubby's sloppy folding habits. Should I say more?

"In one instance, two "romantically involved" workers went on 47 trips during the course of more than two years, at a cost of $144,000 to NSF." And of course, the importance of research on optimization of interpersonal relationships means nothing to these crusty Repugnicans...

"Other entities were forced to return hefty grants after misusing the funds on everything from alcohol to video games." And the study of the link between inebriation and propensity for video games (and vice versa), so crucial for mental development of our youth is nothing? Bupkes?

"The report documented one instance where employees were caught Jell-O wrestling at NSF's Antarctica research station." How do you explain to a penny-pincher the vitality of investigation into high viscosity and its influence on movements of persons in the extreme environment of the Antarctic Pole?

I hope it's a good start. If not, I propose to forbid these anti-sciencists the use of medicines, electronics, cars, planes etc. Let them go back to Mom Nature: naked and unprotected. Then we shall see...

4 comments:

David All said...

Not to mention that silly Dr. Fleming and his stupid experiments with bread mold! That is definitely something that need not be funded!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Hmm... that too, I guess.

Dick Stanley said...

Good on the Oklahoma Republican. We need more like him.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yup.