Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Left Wing Boondoggles

Johns Hopkins Magazine: "n October 2003, conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives prompted a hearing on 10 research grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grants included studies of Asian sex workers in San Francisco and women's responses to pornography, and some in Congress wanted to know why taxpayers' money was paying for that sort of thing. After Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-N.J.) asked NIH for information on the supposed public benefits of the 10 studies, an NIH staff member contacted the House Energy and Commerce Committee, co-sponsor of the hearing, and requested a list of the grants in question.

That staff member got back more than expected: not summaries of 10 projects, but page after page of NIH grants, dozens of them, all seemingly listed because the research involved prostitution, substance abuse, homosexuality, or sexually transmitted diseases. By mistake, someone on Energy and Commerce had revealed a list that was making the rounds of Republican members of Congress, a list of 181 NIH-funded researchers whose studies had been targeted by a conservative religious lobbying group, the Traditional Values Coalition."

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