As part of our continuing discussion of issues related to NSF funding for political science (see here, here, and here for example), we are posting the following letter from the editors of three of the flagship political science journals, the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Politics.
Buried in the recently signed Continuing Resolution to fund the Government through October 1, 2013 is a blatant attack on science. It instructs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to only fund research in Political Science that promotes the “national security or the economic interests of the United States.”
Senator Coburn’s (R-OK) amendment crosses the line by directing NSF to gut one of its scientific programs. NSF is charged with funding basic scientific research and has lead to America’s preeminence in science. Directing NSF to limit science for political reasons leaves all of its programs vulnerable. If Political Science is prevented from funding politics, will Biology next be told to stop funding evolutionary processes? Political opinion often obscures scientific fact and has no place in directing research.
We mourn the loss of funded basic research. Our Journals publish such work and the role of NSF has been instrumental. Our articles inform policy makers and journalists alike. Limits on American science threaten the dissemination of basic knowledge.
Rick K. Wilson, Editor, American Journal of Political Science
John Ishiyama, Lead Editor, American Political Science Review
Jan E. Leighley and William T. Mishler, Editors, Journal of Politics