Our Blog

Why Congress should fund social science

“Cosmos,” the fascinating television series, tells us not only about science, engineering and mathematics but also its history. In one episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson tells the story of how, during the 17th century, the Royal Society in England funded Hisotria Piscium, a groundbreaking (at the time) book on the history of fish. When the book failed to sell, the financial loss was so severe that the Royal Society had to withdraw its funding for printing Isaac Newton’s PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”) which gave us the three laws of motion and other important discoveries.

Did the Royal Society leadership know that Newton’s book would become one of the most important works in all of history while the fish book would fail? Of course not. No one can predict what will or will not be revolutionary science, engineering and mathematics research.

Some members of Congress today, however, seem to think differently. They believe it is possible to pick winners and losers, and identify one area of research, namely social science research, that they believe will not produce research in the “national interest,” and as a result, society should not fund it.

Click here to read more from this June 18, 2014 article in The Hill by Deborah Stine.

Tags: , ,

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work! Please upgrade today!