Monday, July 04, 2005

Culture warrirors taken on… Pigeons???

Found this next one in the Science Friday post over at Ars Technica. And I have no idea what to make of it:

HoR intervenes to prevent the NIH from funding grants

For the second time in two years, the House of Representatives has intervened to prevent the NIH from funding two research grants, thereby subverting the peer-review process. Despite sounding like an episode of the West Wing, Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) added an amendment to a spending bill that bars the NIH from funding two studies, one looking at marriage, and another at perception and cognition in pigeons. I can understand why a social conservative might be opposed to a study on marriage, although I see no indications as to any inherent bias in the study. I’m more perplexed at his opposition to the pigeon research. Perhaps these common birds are to be the next line of attack in the culture war?

Responding to the move by congress, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni labeled the move "unjustified scientific censorship." I could not agree more.

I could not be more baffled. What in the hell is Neugebauer's problem? Google fetched me this link to a UK article. But it doesn't really set the table on why this Yahoo was tripping on the pigeon study. Maybe he's just plain batshit insane?

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