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Sun Apr 10 21:02:18 EST 2005


The House Budget Committee has recommended the complete elimination of
NSF research funding for Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology,
Linguistics, Political Science, Economics, Geography, Cognitive Science,
Decision, Risk and Management Sciences, History of Science, and
Statistical Research for the Behavioral and Social Sciences-- as NSF's
contribution to balancing the Federal budget.

There is no doubt that NSF funding will be cut in the effort to balance
the budget.  But to selectively wipe out the behavioral and social
sciences goes far beyond simply saving money.  This is the most important
crisis these sciences have faced since Ronald Reagan attempted to
eliminate the same sciences in the early 1980s.  Action on this will
happen very quickly.  The Budget Committee approved the budget package on
May 11.  The vote on the package by the full House will happen sometime
between the 15th and 18th of May.  In all likelihood, the budget
resolution will pass the House unaltered.  The Appropriations Committee
will be bound by the spending limits imposed by the Budget Committee.
But it need not be bound by the particular cuts recommended by the Budget
Committee!  Unfortunately, the House leadership has also made it known
that no program that lacks a current authorization will be funded.  The
National Science Foundation is not currently authorized.  Efforts to pass
its authorization failed last year in the Senate.  The House Science
Committee Chair, Robert Walker (R-PA) has said that as soon as the budget
is passed, the Science Committee will proceed to report its
authorizations which include, among other things, NSF, NASA, and the
research programs of the Department of Energy.  Robert Walker is also the
Vice-Chair of the Budget Committee, and he played a key role in
determining the selective cuts at NSF.  In a news conference on May 12,
Walker said that the Directorate containing the research programs
mentioned above was created simply because it was "politically correct"
and that it is now time to make a correction.  This means that there is
little chance the NSF authorization from his Committee will contain an
authorization for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Directorate.  If the Committee does not authorize the Directorate, the
Appropriations Committee cannot fund the research programs it contains.
So scientists must pay close attention to actions of the Budget,
Appropriations, and the authorizing committee.

The only way the course of events can be changed is for concerned
citizens to let their elected representatives know that they as voters to
not approve of these ideological cuts masquerading as budget balancing
measures.  You must take it on yourself immediately to

1)  write or call your own representative and senator's office to express
your disapproval

2)  send a copy of your letter to: Robert Walker, George Brown (ranking
minority member of the Science Committee and a likely ally of behavioral
and social scientists), Jerry Lewis (Chairman of the House Appropriations
Subcommittee that appropriates money for the National Science
Foundation).  And this next thing is equally important:  SEND, FAX OR
EMAIL A COPY OF YOUR CORRESPONDENCE TO THE FEDERATION OF BEHAVIORAL,
PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES.  We have to be able to monitor how
great an impact behavioral and social scientists are having, and the only
way we can do that is by keeping track of how many contacts from
scientists congressional offices have received.  Any letter to Congress
may be addressed as follows:  Representative's name, U.S. House of
Representatives (or U.S. Senate) Washington, D.C. 20515 (House) or 20510
(Senate).  The Federation email is federation at apa.org.  Federation fax is
(202) 336-6158.  If you need more information, our telephone number is
(202) 336-5920.

3)  Help us get the word out.  Please see that the anthropology,
sociology, linguistics, economics, political science, cognitive science,
and geography departments on your campus receive this action alert as
well.

4)  It is very important that elected representatives do not hear only
from the scientists affected.  If you have acquaintances in the physical
or biological sciences or the university administration who would write a
letter or make a phone call to an elected representative, do everything
you can to get such a communication sent.


=========================================================================
Charles J. Wysocki, Ph.D.       wysocki at pobox.upenn.edu
Monell Chemical Senses Center   FAX:    215-898-2084
3500 Market Street              Phone:  215-898-4265
Philadelphia, PA  19104-3308    telex:  7106700328



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