Human Exceptionalism

Do We Need Better Oversight On How Scientists Spend Public Money?

My colleague at the Discovery Institute–Bruce Chapman, our fearless leader–has brought up a point that I think deserves more attention.  In the wake of the Mark Hauser scandal at Harvard–who may have falsified evidence of monkey moral reasoning–Bruce asks two important questions.  From his blog:

What no one in the media apparently bothered to check was the cost of Prof. Hauser’s bogus research. Looking at National Science Foundation grants online, it seems to have been $504,000. Shouldn’t the Inspector General at the NSF be asking Harvard for the government’s money back? The follow-up question is, how much of this goes on in academia? And why does Big Science, alone among American institutions, get to police itself? We have headline investigations if some Congressman misuses his per diem allowance on a junket to Ouagadougou. Total waste, maybe $300. In comparison, is 500K for rigged university research merely chimp change?

Money corrupts, and from what I have seen in the stem cell and global warming issues, it (along with ideology) has corrupted science in some quarters.  At the very least, a science/government (and media) complex has arisen that requires checks and balances to maintain accountability and credibility.  As time permits, I will think about and look into this matter further in the days to come.