News of the WeekU.S. Science Policy

Peer Review Not Popular at Homeland Security

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Science  06 Nov 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5954, pp. 779
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_779

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When it comes to funding basic research at the Department of Homeland Security, program officers seem to rely mostly on their own opinion. An analysis of the agency's $1 billion science and technology directorate has found that only about 40% of the $175 million spent on basic science was awarded through a competitive process. And only a portion of that slice is subject to outside peer review.