Is the Government Buying Science or Support? A Framework Analysis of Federal Funding-Induced Biases

Federal agencies spend many billion dollars a year on scientific research. Most of this is directly tied to the funding agency mission and existing policies. The issue is whether these financial ties lead to bias in favor of the existing policies, as well as promoting new policies. The notion of cascading systemic bias, induced by government funding, does not appear to have been much studied. This is a big gap in the research on science and public policy. Moreover, if this sort of bias is indeed widespread, then there is a serious need for new policies to prevent it, both at the Federal level and within the scientific community itself.

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