[Air-L] Fwd: [ciresearchers] FW: The Future of NSF
geneloeb at gmail.com
Fri Jul 8 23:34:44 PDT 2011
To AIR researchers and their supporters,
The following communications asks American researchers and supporters to
"immediately" contact their congressional representatives and senators in
the United States, to NOT CUT FUNDING, of a United States government entity
that funds a large amount of social science research, which has the
potential relevance to internet research projects, The U.S government funded
"the directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences at the National
Science Foundation (NSF)."
Much of this could involve internet applications in some way and has the
potential to involve funding for it much more it it were to continue. At a
minimum, even if not directly referring to internet reearch, at least it
creates an atmosphere of support and respect for such research and
application.These notes and communications are especially pertinent to the
research community in the United States, but have a wider significance
because of lessons they hold for scientists in other nations..
Thanks for reading and responding.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: gene loeb <geneloeb at gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Jul 9, 2011 at 1:07 AM
Subject: Re: [ciresearchers] FW: The Future of NSF
To: ciresearchers at vancouvercommunity.net, michael gurstein <
gurstein at gmail.com>
Dr. Gurstein and all,
This is one of the most significant things I have read from our group, and
incudes extremely important and useful information about our research and
policies in the United States that affect much of it. I didn't realize all
of the information given. I urge all that can, especially in the United
States, write their congressional representatives and senators
immediately,even if it doesn't appear to directly affect them. As these
writings demonstrate, we may not be aware of how our research may be
affected if only by the climate or attitures of potential supportors.
Thanks to all who have brought this to our attention.
Gene Loeb, Ph.D.
On Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 8:12 AM, michael gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com> wrote:
> This is very bad news indeed, including for the US Community Informatics
> research community. Much of the early (US) work (the Blacksburg studies for
> example) were funded in large part through this NSF program and through the
> years I believe that the NSF has funded much of the US based CI research
> (and researchers).
> When I was in the US I sat on a number of review panels for this program
> and the quality and breadth of what was funded, including as I recall a
> clear criteria of selection being "impact on the wider community"--was truly
> Anyone on the list with an appropriate Congressperson to send a letter to
> is strongly urged to read the below very carefully and act accordingly.
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* stsgrad at googlegroups.com [mailto:stsgrad at googlegroups.com] *On
> Behalf Of *Shobita Parthasarathy
> *Sent:* Wednesday, July 06, 2011 8:04 AM
> *To:* stsgrad at googlegroups.com
> *Subject:* The Future of NSF
> >From Laurel Smith-Doerr:
> Dear Colleagues,
> The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice & Science (CJS) is considering
> changing the 2012 appropriation to eliminate the Social,
> Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate at the NSF, which includes
> the STS Program. The Consortium of Social Science
> Associations (COSSA), a coalition to which the ASA belongs supporting
> Federal funding for the social sciences, is encouraging its members to write
> to their House Representatives and Senators, urging the House to continue to
> support the human sciences at NSF. Having had the privilege of serving
> recently as one of the Program Officers at the NSF in the SBE directorate, I
> want to endorse COSSA's request, believing that eliminating SBE would be
> disastrous for the social sciences in the US and for sociology in
> So I encourage you to write to your House Representatives and US Senators,
> ideally before the CJS Subcommittee meeting on 7 July, or
> before the full House Appropriations Committee meeting on 13 July, and at
> least before the floor discussion scheduled for the week of 25 July.
> You may want to copy Subcommittee Chair Frank Wolf R-VA and Ranking Member
> Chakah Fattah D-PA and perhaps other members of the Subcommittee (
> and Appropriations Committee Chair Harold Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member
> Norm Dicks (D-WA) (http://www.appropriations.house.gov). You can find
> contact information for your representative using the ?Write Your
> Representative? feature at
> https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml, and you will find a
> list of Senators, sortable by state, at
> We all lead busy lives and if you prefer to send something more or less
> ready made I suggest something along the lines of the letter made available
> by the previous Assistant Director of SBE (a linguist) at
> http://www.lsadc.org/info/NSFSBEletter.pdf. You may copy and paste the
> text from this letter (make sure the formatting has copied appropriately)
> and if you have the opportunity, elaborate and tell your representatives
> something about our field. Furthermore, you might strengthen your argument
> by pointing to NSF-supported work being conducted at a university in the
> representative's area.
> Support will be particularly valuable from the Republican party. I wrote to
> Scott Brown, using the AD's letter as a starting point. My letter is pasted
> below (unformatted).
> Please feel free to forward this request to colleagues, I have taken parts
> of it from the linguists but obviously it is important for representatives
> to hear from all of the social sciences.
> Laurel Smith-Doerr
> July 1, 2011
> Scott Brown
> US Senator
> 2400 JFK Federal Building
> 15 New Sudbury St.
> Boston, MA 02203
> Dear Senator Brown,
> I am alarmed to hear that the House Commerce, Justice & Science Committee
> is considering eliminating or severely cutting back the directorate for
> Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation
> In the US, basic research in the social sciences is funded alongside the
> natural sciences and engineering, through the same agency. This is unusual
> from an international perspective and means that the social sciences are
> done better here, by being more closely integrated with work
> in the other sciences. Having the full range of basic science funded within
> one agency has led to more collaborative, interdisciplinary work, with
> better results on all sides.
> One major example of this integration is our study of scientific innovation
> itself, one of the most important drivers of a strong economy (as
> acknowledged in the 2007 America COMPETES Act, which was led by the Bush
> Administration but supported across parties). Somehow basic
> science conducted at lab benches and engineering projects started in
> garages produce new knowledge products that spark new industries like
> biotechnology and information technology which give the United States a real
> competitive edge in the global marketplace. This innovation
> process is not yet well understood but is a central concern across social
> sciences including sociology, economics, psychology, and science policy
> studies. The importance of better understanding the innovation process (in
> order to facilitate it) has generated the new interdisciplinary area called
> the science of science and innovation policy (SciSIP). This program at NSF
> is funding research to scientifically understand the innovation process and
> which policies are more effective at producing beneficial outcomes in
> science and technology.
> NSF is unique in combining experts from the social sciences with experts in
> natural sciences and engineering. For example, social scientists and
> chemists in Massachusetts (and other states) have received grants in a
> collaborative initiative at NSF between SciSIP (in Social/Behavioral/
> Economic Sciences directorate) and Chemistry (in Math/Physical Sciences
> directorate). An article in this week?s Chemical
> and Engineering News ('Measuring Chemistry's Impact') announces the
> initiative and its importance to understanding the chemical sciences. This
> initiative 'Pathways to Innovation in the Chemical Sciences' would not have
> been possible if social sciences were not part of NSF. More
> information about this initiative and others in the study of innovation and
> science policy can be found at the following website: (
> The integration of all the basic sciences at the NSF represents one of the
> national treasures of the US, which has yielded much competitive advantage.
> Massachusetts has been at the forefront of this kind of interdisciplinary
> research, as it has led innovation and science in general.
> I urge you to oppose any efforts to weaken that integration, which will be
> detrimental to our state
> and our nation.
> Laurel Smith-Doerr
> Associate Professor of Sociology
> Boston University
> Ldoerr at bu.edu
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With Sincerest Best Wishes ,
Gene Loeb, Ph.D.
With Sincerest Best Wishes ,
Gene Loeb, Ph.D.
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