Analysis: Why the GOP Should Embrace Federally Funded Studies of Ducks

thieury/Shutterstock.com

One of conservatives' favorite examples of wasteful government spending in recent weeks has been a federally funded study of  the duck reproductive system. As the Republican Party looks to recover from its 2012 losses, sure, it should appeal to a wider audience by talking more about immigration and talking less about gay marriage. But they should demand more. So far, the most prominent Republican demanding this kind of path forward has been Newt Gingrich, who said that Republicans should promote the very type of technological innovation made possible by the weird science research the party is currently dismissing as silly and wasteful.

President Obama announced a $300 million-a-year program Tuesday to map the human brain, and Michelle Malkin mocks the research as silly. Cuts to really expensive things, like the military and Medicare, are controversial. But cutting funding of animal genital research sounds more inoffensive. House Speaker John Boehner wrote in February, "no one should be talking about raising taxes when the government is still paying people to play videogames, giving folks free cellphones, and buying $47,000 cigarette-smoking machines." New York's Jonathan Chait explained that the smoking machines were created to simulate smoking in mice so the Veterans Administration could study chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. So yeah, smoking machines sound dumb, until you consider the alternative, which is training mice to smoke cigarettes, or start testing on humans. Likewise, the "paying people to play video games" thing is a National Science Foundation grant to study if playing video games can slow old people's loss of brain power.

Read more at The Atlantic Wire

(Image via thieury/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.