I was in D.C. yesterday and found that there’s now a proposal under discussion in Congress to make every applicant for an NSF grant show how it would directly benefit the American People. War making, cancer fighting, job creating claims are all fine, but basic research? Forget it. Don’t bother to apply Mr. Einstein.
And research in the humanities? Are you kidding?
The really exquisite feature of the proposal , however, is its name “ The High Quality Research Act.“ (Text of the draft bill: http://www.scribd.com/doc/138488029/The-High-Quality-Research-Act-of-2013 ) So the Q word is being taught to stand in its head. It is going to have to learn to mean the reverse of what it used to mean.
Oh, brave new world to have such quality in it.
For how this proposal fits in to the grand strategy of the grand old part see Norman Ornstein http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/the-slash-and-burn-house-republican-yahoo-caucus-rampages-on/275502/