APRIL 30, 2012
A group of bipartisan federal lawmakers have created a new award to recognize publicly-funded research on outlandish subjects like guinea pig eardrums, dog urine and the sexual habits of a parasitic fly known as a screwworm.
Once viewed as “unusual, odd or obscure,” the taxpayer-funded research has transformed lives, fueled the economy and inspired major scientific breakthroughs, according to the congressmen behind the new accolade, the Golden Goose Award. Furthermore, the research has helped produce important discoveries benefitting society in significant ways, the lawmakers claim in a press release announcing the new accolade.
All members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the lawmakers include a diverse mix of Democrats and Republicans from various parts of the country. Among them are Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper, Pennsylvania Republican Charlie Dent, New Jersey Democrat Rush Holt and Illinois Republican Robert Dold. They claim that their new award will highlight the often unexpected or serendipitous nature of basic scientific research.
“We’ve all seen reports that ridicule odd-sounding research projects as examples of government waste,” said Congressman Cooper, who came up with the brilliant idea for the distinction. “The Golden Goose Award does the opposite. It recognizes that a valuable federally funded research project may sound funny, but its purpose is no laughing matter. I hope more of my colleagues will join us in supporting, not killing, the goose that lays the golden egg.”
The lawmakers assert that the seemingly wasteful research—obscure or odd-sounding when it took place—actually contributed to an important discovery or breakthrough, including life-saving medicines and treatments. Game-changing social and behavioral insights, major national security technological advances and energy, environment, communications and public health breakthroughs are also attributed to the research.
In other words, studying dog urine and other rare subjects like the reproductive habits of parasitic flies contributes positively to practically every area of society, according to these congressmen. They did, however, forget to list examples of the “breakthroughs,” which they also claim have resulted in economic growth through the creation of new industries or companies.
“Federal support for basic scientific research creates jobs, fosters innovation, and improves the American people’s quality of life,” said Congressman Dent, the Pennsylvania Republican. “As the Golden Goose Award will demonstrate, research supported by the federal government has led to remarkable breakthroughs and valuable scientific developments that affect our lives on a daily basis.”
Judicial Watch has over the years uncovered a variety of outrageous research experiments conducted by the government at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. Among them is a scandalous program that for decades has provided illicit drugs—including crack, powder cocaine and morphine—to addicts who participate in publicly financed research studies. U.S. taxpayers have also funded the research of dinosaur eggs in Hangzhou, China and an ongoing African baboon study that so far has revealed the fecal samples of alpha males have elevated stress levels.
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