(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new oversight report, “The National Science Foundation: Under the Microscope” that raises serious questions regarding the agency’s management and priorities. The report identifies more than $1.2 billion the National Science Foundation (NSF) has lost due to waste, fraud, duplication and mismanagement and an additional $1.7 billion in unspent funds.
Examples of the more than $3 billion in waste and duplication outlined in the report include:
• $80,000 study on why the same teams always dominate March Madness;
• $315,000 study suggesting playing FarmVille on Facebook helps adults develop and maintain relationships;
• $1 million for an analysis of how quickly parents respond to trendy baby names;
• $50,000 to produce and publicize amateur songs about science, including a rap called “Money 4 Drugz,” and a misleading song titled “Biogas is a Gas, Gas, Gas”;
• $2 million to figure out that people who often post pictures on the internet from the same location at the same time are usually friends; and
• $581,000 on whether online dating site users are racist.