Recently, our pal Dan Grushkin called our attention to the release of a survey of the DIYBio and synthetic biology done by the Woodrow Wilson Institute. In this report, some recommendations are made for government funding of places like ours. (Putting aside any schisms about whether we should take government money) this is making us wonder about these funding opportunities, as our till remains dangerously low.
There are, of course, several government funding mechanisms, but one of the more prolific is the National Science Foundation, which is an organization that is a favorite target of congressional potshots, and frequently the center of spending controversies. We were wondering about how they decide what to fund. Is there some, well, science to figuring out what science the NSF should support? What might they be thinking about as they figure out whether or not to spend money on supporting community labs?
Well, there's always an expert nearby. A web perusal turned up Dr Joshua Rosenbloom, serving as the Director of a fairly new science called the “Science of Science Innovation Policy”. He has agreed to talk to us about what the heck he does.
In Dr Rosenbloom’s words “The United States devotes almost three percent of national income to Research & Development activities. What do we get from these expenditures? Can they be directed more effectively? How do policy choices affect the quality and quantity of scientific activity in this country and around the globe? Since 2007 the National Science Foundation has supported an interdisciplinary program of social science research called the Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) that funds research that seeks to answer these and other related questions. Joshua Rosenbloom, Professor of Economics at the University of Kansas and the current director of the SciSIP program will offer insights about the program’s operation, its achievements and the challenges of creating a Science of Science Policy."
So, if you want to understand how “good” science might be measured and funded, (and how we appear to be funding research on funding research) please attend. Once again, this is a casual free event, far away from the usual suspects, so that you, the people can learn something from the horses mouth! (However, we would deeply appreciate a donation in order to keep these things going) Please RSVP HERE
BUGSS is a 501(C)3 charity. Please help keep BUGSS going!