This Makes It Harder to Pass the America COMPETES Act

New York Times, “Science Foundation Backs Climate-Change Play“:

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $700,000 grant to the Civilians, a New York theater company, to finance the production of a show about climate change. “The Great Immensity,” with a book by Steven Cosson (“This Beautiful City”) and music and lyrics by Michael Friedman (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”), tells the story of Polly, a photojournalist who disappears while working in the rain forests of Panama. The grant is a rare gift to an arts organization from the foundation, a federal agency that pays for science, engineering and mathematics research and education. The company says it plans to spend the money on the development and evaluation of the show, as well as on a tour and educational programs, including post-show panel discussions with experts in related scientific fields. No performance dates have been announced.

The National Association of Manufacturers has called for enactment of the America COMPETES Act, which, among its many research-related provisions, increased authorization for the National Science Foundation spending. The idea was that the NSF could support more research and science — not politicized theater. We already have a federal agency that does that.

The bill, H.R. 5116, did pass the House at the end of June, 262-150. Federal agencies showing themselves to be poor stewards of the taxpayers’ dollar makes it harder to argue the case in the Senate.

Via Mark Hemingway, Washington Examiner, “Your tax dollars at work: National Science Foundation gives $700K grant to theater company for play on climate change.”

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