Social science research "can improve our national security, create jobs and enhance our economic competitiveness":
Why social sciences are just as important as STEM disciplines, by Lance R. Collins, Washington Post: In a shortsighted effort to save money, Congress is moving ahead with a plan to cut investment in the social sciences. The America Competes Act under consideration on Capitol Hill would reauthorize funding for the National Science Foundation and other agencies that supply the financial lifeblood to engineering and the physical sciences. However, as passed by the House, the bill would cut the foundation’s funding for the social sciences by about half in order to direct more money to science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the STEM disciplines.
As an engineer and an educator, I deeply appreciate our national policymakers’ recognition that funding STEM research can improve our national security, create jobs and enhance our economic competitiveness. But I disagree with the notion that the social sciences are not just as important for the same reasons.
In fact, the social sciences are more important today than ever...
As Congress works its way through the reauthorization of the funding for the National Science Foundation, I urge our elected officials to pause and recognize the essential role of science — including social science —to our nation’s well being.