Judicial Watch • Obama’s Stimulus Funds Dinosaur Egg Study In China

Obama’s Stimulus Funds Dinosaur Egg Study In China

Obama’s Stimulus Funds Dinosaur Egg Study In China

DECEMBER 13, 2010

Just a few months after coming under fire for dropping $700,000 to produce a play about climate change, the federal agency that funds science and research is in hot water for allocating a substantial chunk of stimulus money to study dinosaur eggs in China.

While this may sound like a bad joke, it’s the sad reality of the rampant waste and fraud that prevails in many U.S. government agencies as well as President Obama’s disastrous $787 billion effort to stimulate the economy. In this case, the National Science Foundation (NSF), long plagued by scandal, is on a frivolous spending spree that should outrage all tax-paying Americans.

A Washington D.C. newspaper reports that the NSF recently awarded a public university in Montana a $141,002 federal stimulus grant so that students could study dinosaur eggs and other fossils in Hangzhou, China. The paper sarcastically points out that during the six-week jaunt students found ample time to experience Chinese culture and explore on taxpayers’ dime, but the dinosaur eggs didn’t hatch any new jobs.

In October the NSF gave a New York theater company $700,000 to finance a show about climate change. The perplexing arts grant by the NSF was first reported in a brief that appeared in the Sunday Arts section of the New York Times. The one-paragraph announcement even mentions that the grant is a rare gift to an arts organization from a federal agency that pays for science, engineering and mathematics research and education.

The NSF was created by Congress six decades ago to promote the progress of science and advance national health. With an annual budget of about $7 billion it’s the only federal agency whose mission includes support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering. The agency also funds about 20% of all research conducted by U.S. colleges and universities.

Last year the NSF was embroiled in a huge computer porn scandal that jolted all levels of the agency. In a scathing report to Congress last fall, the agency’s inspector general revealed that NSF employees spend significant portions of their workdays watching, downloading and e-mailing pornography without ever being caught or disciplined. The porn surfing has cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, according to investigators.


 

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