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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Pelosi Leads Partisan Rally on Impact of Stimulus on Science
17 November 2009 5:19 pm
Has science become a one-party issue in Congress?
A coalition of university organizations with a new Web site touting the benefits to the country from the $21 billion being spent on basic research via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) hopes that the answer is no. But the absence of Republicans from the dias at today's Capitol Hill event was a reminder that not a single House of Representatives Republican voted for the Recovery Act back in February because of fears that the $787 billion stimulus package would break the bank.
The featured presenter was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA), flanked by four of the House's biggest advocates for increased research spending: Representatives Bart Gordon (D–TN), Rush Holt (D–NJ), Ed Markey (D–MA), and Bill Foster (D–IL). And their message—that research is an investment in the country's long-term prosperity, health, and security—is something that normally attracts bipartisan support within Congress. But not today.
"This was an event to commemorate the passage of the Recovery Act" and a [December 2008] meeting at Princeton University that helped to bolster support among Democrats for spending a portion of the money on research, explains Barry Toiv of the Association of American Universities, a co-sponsor of the site. "So we only asked supporters of the legislation."
Thus, Gordon's exhortation that "we have to get the band back together" wasn't just a call to his wildly supportive audience to continue to make the case for the value of basic research. It was also a not-too-subtle suggestion that they need to find a way for those Republicans who traditionally support research to demonstrate their support for the cause despite a trillion-dollar budget deficit. And that will take a lot more than a rally and a Web site.