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[liberationtech] Fwd: [CITASA] NSF funding for social science in jeopardy

Yosem Companys companys at
Mon Jul 11 19:27:50 PDT 2011


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jennifer S. Earl <jearl at>
Date: Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 5:57 PM
Subject: Re: [CITASA] NSF funding for social science in jeopardy
To: citasa at, air-l at

Regarding the note that was forwarded from Laurel on NSF: I have been
working on this and wanted to send around some more targeted info. There are
several Republicans on the committee that have universities in their
districts. Contacts from their constituents matter much more than contacts
from elsewhere. I am guessing us CITASA and AoIR folks can figure out if
there are even more universities represented by these folks (please send
that info to me and/or to the list if you find other university

So, if you are at a college or university in one of these districts, or live
in one of these districts, please contact your rep to encourage them to drop
consideration of the defunding of SBE at NSF.

Maybe you have a relative in one of these districts (my mom lives in one of
these districts and she is now calling and urging her friends to call her
rep). If you do know someone in these districts, maybe you could reach out
to them and see if they would contact their rep.

Alternatively, if you have colleagues at one of these schools, please
forward this to them and ask them to call and/or write their rep:

* Frank R. Wolf, Virginia, Chairman: McLean, Virginia (which has NSF almost
in his district!) which has Goerge Mason in or near his district

* John Abney Culberson, Texas: Rice and St. Thomas are in his district, as
well as parts of University of Houston and other medical schools in downtown
and the medical center (Texas District 7)

* Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama: only has a community college that I could
find, but is near Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. His district includes the
cities of Cullman, Decatur, Gadsden, and Jasper (Alabama District 4)

* Jo Bonner, Alabama: Remington College. This district includes the
following counties: Baldwin, Clark, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington
(Alabama District 1)

* Steve Austria, Ohio: Ohio University at Lancaster, Wilberforce University,
Central State University if Xenia, Wittenberg University in Springfield, and
perhaps Wright State University; his district is central/south Ohio (Ohio
District 7)

* Tom Graves, Georgia (Georgia District 9): I am not sure which colleges,
since I can't find a search map. However, his district includes the
following counties: Catoosa, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Forsyth, Gilmer, Gordon,
Hall, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Union, Walker, White, and Whitfield County

* Kevin Yoder, Kansas: University of Kansas is in his district, which
includes Lawrence (Kansas District 3)

You can get to the full members list at: <http://www.appropriations.****CommerceJusticeScience.htm<>

If you want to give them a conservative voice against defunding NSF, David
Brooks wrote a great op-ed this weekend on why social science research and
funding is critical to our nation: <**

Here is the original message fowarded to the list from Laurel in case you
aren't update to date on this proposal to defund the social sciences at NSF.

> From Laurel Smith-Doerr:
> Dear Colleagues,
> The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice & Science (CJS) is considering
> changing the 2012 appropriation to eliminate the Social,
> Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE). The Consortium of Social Science
> Associations (COSSA), a coalition to which the ASA belongs supporting
> Federal funding for the social sciences, is encouraging its members to
> write to their House Representatives and Senators, urging the House to
> continue to support the human sciences at NSF. Having had the privilege
> of serving recently as one of the Program Officers at the NSF in the SBE
> directorate, I want to endorse COSSA's request, believing that
> eliminating SBE would be disastrous for the social sciences in the US and
> for sociology in particular.
> So I encourage you to write to your House Representatives and US Senators,
> ideally before the CJS Subcommittee meeting on 7 July, or
> before the full House Appropriations Committee meeting on 13 July, and at
> least before the floor discussion scheduled for the week of 25 July.
> You may want to copy Subcommittee Chair Frank Wolf R-VA and Ranking Member
> Chakah Fattah D-PA and perhaps other members of the Subcommittee (
> http://www.appropriations.****
> Subcommittee/?IssueID=3<>
> 4794) and Appropriations Committee Chair Harold Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking
> Member Norm Dicks (D-WA) (http://www.appropriations.**<>).
> You can
> find contact information for your representative using the ?Write Your
> Representative? feature
> at**writerep/welcome.shtml<>,
> and you will find a
> list of Senators, sortable by state, at
> .
> We all lead busy lives and if you prefer to send something more or less
> ready made I suggest something along the lines of the letter made
> available by the previous Assistant Director of SBE (a linguist) at
> You may copy and paste the
> text from this letter (make sure the formatting has copied appropriately)
> and if you have the opportunity, elaborate and tell your representatives
> something about our field. Furthermore, you might strengthen your
> argument by pointing to NSF-supported work being conducted at a
> university in the
> representative's area.
> Support will be particularly valuable from the Republican party. I wrote
> to Scott Brown, using the AD's letter as a starting point. My letter is
> pasted below (unformatted).
> Please feel free to forward this request to colleagues, I have taken parts
> of it from the linguists but obviously it is important for representatives
> to hear from all of the social sciences.
> Laurel Smith-Doerr
> July 1, 2011
> Scott Brown
> US Senator
> 2400 JFK Federal Building
> 15 New Sudbury St.
> Boston, MA 02203
> Dear Senator Brown,
> I am alarmed to hear that the House Commerce, Justice & Science Committee
> is considering eliminating or severely cutting back the directorate for
> Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation
> (NSF).
> In the US, basic research in the social sciences is funded alongside the
> natural sciences and engineering, through the same agency. This is unusual
> from an international perspective and means that the social sciences are
> done better here, by being more closely integrated with work
> in the other sciences. Having the full range of basic science funded
> within one agency has led to more collaborative, interdisciplinary work,
> with better results on all sides.
> One major example of this integration is our study of scientific
> innovation itself, one of the most important drivers of a strong economy
> (as acknowledged in the 2007 America COMPETES Act, which was led by the
> Bush Administration but supported across parties). Somehow basic
> science conducted at lab benches and engineering projects started in
> garages produce new knowledge products that spark new industries like
> biotechnology and information technology which give the United States a
> real competitive edge in the global marketplace. This innovation
> process is not yet well understood but is a central concern across social
> sciences including sociology, economics, psychology, and science policy
> studies. The importance of better understanding the innovation process (in
> order to facilitate it) has generated the new interdisciplinary area
> called the science of science and innovation policy (SciSIP). This
> program at NSF is funding research to scientifically understand the
> innovation process and which policies are more effective at producing
> beneficial outcomes in science and technology.
> NSF is unique in combining experts from the social sciences with experts
> in natural sciences and engineering. For example, social scientists and
> chemists in Massachusetts (and other states) have received grants in a
> collaborative initiative at NSF between SciSIP (in Social/Behavioral/
> Economic Sciences directorate) and Chemistry (in Math/Physical Sciences
> directorate). An article in this week?s Chemical
> and Engineering News ('Measuring Chemistry's Impact') announces the
> initiative and its importance to understanding the chemical sciences. This
> initiative 'Pathways to Innovation in the Chemical Sciences' would not
> have been possible if social sciences were not part of NSF. More
> information about this initiative and others in the study of innovation
> and science policy can be found at the following website: (
> http://www.****page/about-sosp<>
> ).
> The integration of all the basic sciences at the NSF represents one of the
> national treasures of the US, which has yielded much competitive
> advantage. Massachusetts has been at the forefront of this kind of
> interdisciplinary research, as it has led innovation and science in
> general.
> I urge you to oppose any efforts to weaken that integration, which will be
> detrimental to our state
> and our nation.
> Sincerely,
> Laurel Smith-Doerr
> Associate Professor of Sociology
> Boston University
> Ldoerr at
> ______________________________**_________________
> CITASA mailing list

Jennifer Earl
Professor of Sociology
SS&MS 3129
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA  93106-9430

P: (805) 893-7471
F: (805) 893-3324**faculty/earl/<>

CITASA mailing list
CITASA at**mailman/listinfo/citasa_list.**<>
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