Rand Paul's New Target: Peer Review

October 23, 2017

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, last week introduced legislation that has captured the attention of science groups. Paul's bill would require the addition of two people who are not experts in the subject matter under consideration in every federal peer-review panel. One of the people would be required to be "an expert in a field unrelated to the field of research under which the grant proposal was submitted." This person would also be required to be "not professionally affiliated with any academic or research institution" at the present time and for at least 10 years. The second person to be added to every peer-review panel would “serve primarily as a ‘taxpayer advocate’ (defined as someone whose main focus is on the value proposed research delivers to the taxpayer).”

At a Senate hearing last week, Paul said that the legislation was needed in part because of much "silly" research he said was supported by the National Science Foundation, Science reported.

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