Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Doubts About Study of Gay Canvassers Rattles the Field

New York Times
May 25, 2015

He was a graduate student who seemingly had it all: drive, a big idea and the financial backing to pay for a sprawling study to test it.

In 2012, as same-sex marriage advocates were working to build support in California, Michael LaCour, a political science researcher at theUniversity of California, Los Angeles, asked a critical question: Can canvassers with a personal stake in an issue — in this case, gay men and women — actually sway voters’ opinions in a lasting way?


Monday, May 18, 2015

Latest Figures Show Decline in Federal Funding for R&D, Equipment, Facilities in FY 2013

National Science Foundation
May 14, 2015

Federal agency funding for research and development and R&D plant (facilities and fixed equipment used for R&D) fell by 9 percent in fiscal year 2013, according to a new InfoBrief from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).

NCSES found that total federal agency obligations dropped from $141 billion to $127 billion between fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013. Funding dropped by 4 percent for research, 14 percent for development and 11 percent for R&D plant, according to the NCSES report.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2 Key Problems for Fracking Research: Not Enough Disclosure, Not Enough Financing

The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 13, 2015

Several Pennsylvania State University researchers contributed to a recent research project that linked hydraulic fracturing to drinking-water contamination. A Syracuse University scientist in a different study of the oil-recovery technique came to the opposite conclusion.
A common thread between the two studies came to light this week, however: Both were brought into question by failures to fully disclose the outside financial interests that could have had an interest in swaying their conclusions.

Monday, May 4, 2015

NSF Freezes Grants to UConn After Professors Bought Equipment From Their Own Company

The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 1, 2015

The National Science Foundation has frozen millions of dollars in grants to the University of Connecticut after auditors found that two professors there used grant money to buy equipment from their own company, The Hartford Courant reports.
The state Auditors of Public Accounts found that the professors, who control a marine sensor and communication technology company, bought $253,000 worth of acoustic modems using NSF funds. The professors told the auditors they did not read a clause on a form they signed indicating there was no financial conflict of interest.