On March 9, the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Technology held the first of two hearings related to NSF, focusing on “overview and oversight” of NSF programs by the science committee’s research panel. It featured testimony from NSF’s director, France Córdova, and its inspector general, Allison Lerner, who leads an independent watchdog office that investigates all manner of waste, fraud, and abuse of federal funds at NSF.
On March 21, the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Technology held the second of two hearings devoted to the National Science Foundation. Billed as a look at the “future opportunities and challenges for science,” it concentrated on how NSF organizes its grant-making across research directorates and on the virtues and limits of transparency in scientific work. The chair of the National Science Board, NSF’s presidentially appointed oversight body, and the agency’s acting chief operating officer, as well as outside scientists discussed community efforts to increase the reproducibility of research results.
The Science Committee majority has already declared this year that it will renew its push to require NSF’s budget appropriations to specify directorate-level funding and to require that 70 percent of NSF’s research funding be split between its Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Engineering, Biological Sciences, Computer and Information Sciences, and Engineering directorates- leaving less for Geoscience and the Social and Behavioral Sciences.