The Self-Inflicted Decline of Science and the Academy

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It’s time to dismantle the current model of federal funding of academic research.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A merican universities are in decline. But the oft-cited culprits — administrative bloat, the evisceration of the humanities, and “cancel culture” — are not the most serious problems. It is the academic sciences that pose the gravest threat. Far from being the last bastions of cool rationality and objectivity on campuses, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields are neck-deep in the miasma. Worse, the sciences have been the principal enablers of the campus’s cultural rot.

The problem is money, federal money to be precise, that began streaming into campuses with the federalization of the academic sciences after Second World War. Federal

J. Scott Turner is Emeritus Professor of Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

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