News & AnalysisU.S. BUDGET

Social Scientists Hope for Reprieve From the Senate

Science  15 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6087, pp. 1367-1368
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6087.1367

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Summary

The U.S. House of Representatives voted last month to prohibit the National Science Foundation from funding political science research and to curtail the government's ability to monitor economic and demographic trends by eliminating the American Community Survey. A parallel appropriations bill is now awaiting debate by the full Senate. The House votes were fueled by ideological opposition to the social sciences and a broader effort to reduce overall federal spending. Detractors of the survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, also tapped a vein of antigovernment sentiment. However, because the reasons are amorphous, it's hard for advocates to know where to aim their counterpunches.