The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an Un-American Activity.
It is controlled by a cartel of university administrators.
It embraces a caste system that has its roots beyond the United States of America.
NSF reviewers remain hidden and are free to make any statement they choose without any obligation to defend their statements which are often wide of the technology. This practice is most certainly Un-American.
Here is a fragment of my experience with NSF.
NSF rejected my recent proposal Number 0966910 in which I addressed the affirmative action requirements as follows:
The PI is highly effective in transferring his technology to others, although he has been unduly naïve in his blind regard for the ethics of academia. The PI has demonstrated his effectiveness in this area as follows: The PI provided equipment, procedures, test specifications and his expertise to staff at UCLA (Dhir and Warrier) and they received NSF Award No. 0553571: HEAT TRANSFER IN FLUIDS AT NEAR-CRITICAL PRESSURES: EXPERIMENTS AND MATHEMATICAL MODELING. The PI previously collaborated with UCLA in denied NSF proposal 0438436, MICROSCALE HEAT TRANSFER IN FLUIDS AT SUPERCRITICAL PRESSURES: EXPERIMENTS AND MATHEMATICAL MODELING. UCLA included the PI’s keystone technology in its proposal No. 0553571, and without that transformative technology UCLA would have received no award that is into its fourth year. The PI will continue to effectively broaden the participation of others in his transformative research under agreements that protect his property.
In its rejection, NSF emphasized that my proposal did not meet its affirmative action requirements. The mildest criticism of this aspect from one reviewer was, “The broader impact of this proposal somewhat dampen the enthusiasm from this proposal and lowers its rating.” Inspired by the NSF emphasis on affirmative action, one reviewer paraphrased an NSF requirement: “How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (such as gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? It does not.”
The un-American activities of NSF predate Obama, however, under Obama these activities have multiplied. Prior to the Inauguration NSF polished Obama’s boots with an appeal for support of STEM. Following the Inauguration Obama quickly tossed another $3 billion to NSF and NSF immediately announced that the $3 billion was already assigned. As one example of the already assigned, Cornell received award 0933521 which closely resembles its completed award 0500015, neither of which has any transformative merits and each of which is very strong on affirmative action.
Thus NSF devotes substantially greater attention to affirmative action than the matter of the transformative content of proposals. Of course, for those of us outside of academia, NSF reviewers have an easy route to reject our proposals because we do not have an extensive campus game to cite in support of affirmative action.
NSF recently issued Press Release 10-027 and again we are hearing "transformative." Here is the first bullet from Press Release 10-027:
• NSF should assess its two merit review criteria for funding of S&E research to ensure that the criteria encourage the support of truly transformative research, and should modify the criteria and/or merit review process if necessary.
The “if necessary” must be changed to “as necessary” and “should” must be changed to “must.”
NSF has an extensive public relations activity and the public seems to accept what it is told. Of course, very few in the American public have any discourse with NSF. If I had the funds, I’d run full pages of exposés of NSF in the Wall Street Journal.
Robert H. Leyse firstname.lastname@example.org