GRANT Act Draws Concerns of Scientists and Policymakers
January 17, 2012
by Paula Skedsvold
The Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011 (GRANT Act or H.R. 3433) introduced by Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) would require federal agencies to establish additional transparency measures, but advocates, scientists, and even members of Congress are raising concerns about its potential impact on science. The bill’s provisions would make grant proposals and information on peer reviewers public, and opponents are concerned that passage of the bill would lead to unintended consequences that undermine science.
In a detailed letter to Congress, the Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and Council on Governmental Relations describe five troubling provisions in the bill, including those that would make proposals and peer reviewers public. Following on this letter, Reps. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and David Price (D-NC) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter asking their colleagues to urge changes to the legislation before it reaches the House floor.
Similarly, Reps. Elijah Cummings and Gerald Connolly circulated a “Dear Colleague” asking other members of Congress to “work with Reps. Lankford and Issa” to fix the bill before it is considered by the full House, or if no changes are adopted, oppose the bill.
Organizations affiliated with the Coalition for National Science Funding are developing a letter for members of Congress that expresses serious concerns with GRANT Act. Additional information will be provided on the FABBS web site as it becomes available.