Jun 9, 2017

Report defends the value of social sciences

Investment in social sciences has led to advances in national defense, health, and industry among other areas, according to a report by the non-governmental National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Why it matters: When legislators are asked to make cuts to science funding, the social sciences are often at the top of the list. By commissioning an independent report, the NSF appears to be trying to lend credence to their argument that the directorate is valuable and its funding should be untouched.

"One can imagine that the NSF was looking for an authoritative, independent and objective voice to speak to questions about the value of the social, behavioral, and economic sciences," says Ed Liebow, executive director of the American Anthropological Association. Much of anthropology research is funded through NSF grants.

Go deeper: The Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences directorate has been a frequent target of Republican legislators. In a March 21 hearing, for example, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) almost exclusively cited social science studies as examples of waste. Other proposals have tried to direct NSF funding to four main directorates – biology, computer science, physics, and engineering – or to increase government oversight of the NSF's grant-review process.

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Bloomberg denies telling a pregnant employee to "kill it"

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage Tuesday denied telling a former employee to terminate her pregnancy.

Catch up quick: Per the Washington Post, a former saleswoman has alleged workplace discrimination against Bloomberg and his company and says Bloomberg told her to "kill it" when he learned she was pregnant. Bloomberg denied the allegation under oath and entered a confidential settlement with the woman.

Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to keep his momentum after winning New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hopes to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates are just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They're talking about health care, Russian interference in the election, the economy and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sanders to Putin: You won't interfere in any more elections if I'm president

Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the debate stage Tuesday, stating, "If I'm president of the United States, trust me, you're not going to interfere in any more American elections."

The big picture: It was unveiled last week that Russia has been interfering to boost Sanders' campaigns in an apparent attempt to strengthen President Trump's bid for reelection. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that "Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States, and that's why Russia is helping [Sanders] get elected.