House Panel Passes Science Bill That Concerns College Leaders

May 29, 2014

The House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology approved legislation Wednesday that would reauthorize the National Science Foundation and other research agencies -- and would do so in a way that concerns many university leaders. The Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act (H.R. 4186), sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, has drawn opposition from the National Science Board because it would slash funding for social and political science research and, in the board's view, limit the agency's autonomy and effectiveness. And Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities, said in a statement Wednesday that the committee-passed bill, "while somewhat improved" over an earlier version, "still falls far short of this vision and does little to advance science and close our nation’s innovation deficit. We urge the full House either to amend it significantly or to vote it down."

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