News & AnalysisU.S. Science Policy

Proposed Tweaks to NSF Peer Review Spur Tensions

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Science  22 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6161, pp. 919
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6161.919

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A hearing last week by the House of Representatives science committee gave the community its first chance to publicly discuss controversial legislation they fear would undermine the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) vaunted peer-review system. House Republicans who have drafted the bill say they are only trying to make sure taxpayers are getting the biggest bang for their NSF dollars and that the process of selecting grants is transparent. But Democrats say it casts the $7 billion agency as a villain and discounts the value of peer review in choosing the best research.