The House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday that would require the National Science Foundation to provide written justification for how every grant furthers the "national interest."
The legislation, H.R. 3293, passed largely along party lines in the Republican-controlled House. Its sponsors characterized the measure as designed to "ensure that the National Science Foundation (NSF) is open and accountable to the taxpayers about how their hard-earned dollars are spent."
But Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, the senior Democrat on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said the bill "is about second-guessing our nation’s best and brightest scientists, and the grant-making decisions they make. Perhaps this is not surprising, when so many of my Republican colleagues openly question the validity of whole fields of established science, from the social sciences to climate science to evolutionary biology."