News FocusLOBBYING

Hawaii Rides a Wave of Research Earmarks

Science  04 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5518, pp. 835
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5518.835

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Summary

Fifteen years ago, the University of Hawaii hired a high-profile lobbying firm to help it win federal funds for facilities and programs that have not undergone traditional peer review. Defenders say such academic earmarks are often the only way for schools like Hawaii to build the infrastructure needed to compete with the big boys for government research grants. But critics say the practice rarely helps schools move up in the pecking order, and that it has fostered a negative image of academic researchers as "welfare queens in white coats."