Though we take a backseat to no one when it comes to mocking various academic fields on the basis of little but our own prejudices, this is ridiculous even by our low standards: famous political theorist Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) (pictured, smugly) led a successful battle this week to get the House of Representatives to zero out funding for the National Science Foundation's most useless field. Political science. Don't want nobody book-larnin' bout no politickin'. Inside Higher Ed reports:
Some of the topics that set Flake off seem predictable, given current politics here; "$700,000 to develop a new model for international climate change analysis," for instance.
But in a particularly troubling sign for political scientists and advocates for academic research (including several scholars posting about the bill at the Monkey Cage), several of the projects that Flake singled out for ridicule ("These studies might satisfy the curiosities of a few academics, but I seriously doubt society will benefit from them") touch on issues such as whether policy makers do what citizens want, and why young people don't seem interested in going into politics.
Hmm huh gee weird how curious.