Prior to making an award of any contract or grant funding for a scientific research project, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall publish a statement on the public website of the Foundation that certifies that the research projectOn the whole, doesn't sound like a bad thing. So why the fuss? Because the bill's sponsor Lamar Smith, republican congressman from Texas and chair of the house science committee, also sent a letter to the NSF acting director asking for the reviews on five grant proposals. So the High Quality Research Act is an attempt to give congressional approval to the grants process and perhaps requiring justification of individual grants. Nothing good can come from that.
(1) is in the interests of the United States to advance the national health, prosperity, or welfare, and to secure the national defense by promoting the progress of science;
(2) is the finest quality, is groundbreaking, and answers questions or solves problems that are of utmost importance to society at large; and
(3) is not duplicative of other research projects being funded by the Foundation or other Federal science agencies.
The NSF bravely said no to Smith's request for the reviews. That was two weeks ago and I haven't seen any new news on the topic. Let's hope that High Quality Research Act just simply disappears.