Do we really need government-funded research at all?

Regarding Mick Mulvaney, nominee for White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Forwarded by Peggy Backman:

Trump’s budget director pick: “Do we really need government-funded research at all?”
In a recent article published on Vox, journalist Julia Belluz describes some truly alarming statements made by Congressman Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, who President-elect Trump has nominated to head the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). As Director of the OMB, Mulvaney would be charged with preparing the federal budget and overseeing the federal agencies, including various federal research entities like NSF, NIH, and NIJ.

As Belluz writes in the article, “In a stunning September 9 Facebook post (that’s since been deleted but is still cached), Mulvaney asked, ‘… what might be the best question: do we really need government funded research at all.’” To support his argument, Congressman Mulvaney questions U.S. support for Zika research by drawing on CDC-supported research findings published in June that show an apparent lack of connection between Zika and microcephaly in Columbian mothers and children—a finding that contradicts other findings in neighboring Brazil and elsewhere.

As psychologists, other scientists and regular folks know, Mulvaney’s reasoning is seriously flawed, as are his conclusions…  Rep. Mulvaney’s comments and skepticism of government-funded scientific research is disturbing. As the choice for White House budget director, he would have considerable influence in how government funded research is budgeted for during the next Administration.

We all know there will be dire consequences if government funding for scientific research dwindles, or stops. It is true for social sciences no less than physical, biological, and medical sciences. “Social and psychological research is a key part of the infrastructure of democracy. Social scientists ask how the human world works. Policies must be developed, understood, and criticized with the aid of these facts. Social research with the best possible scientific data can inform open-minded analysis, and lead to effective public policy. Social and behavioral research is an essential contribution to the process of argument, dissent, law and policy.”

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About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College
This entry was posted in Health Care, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Do we really need government-funded research at all?

  1. Pingback: Fake News | Resist and Replace

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