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How Federal ‘Science’ Spending Helps Radicalize College Students

Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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science; college protests

Americans are watching as hordes of anti-American and anti-Israel activists have seized public spaces, occupied university buildings, denied access to reporters, and clashed with police and counterprotesters (all while demanding free food).


The latest wave of often anti-Western and antisemitic protests is more intense than the initial wave of activity during the fall in part because warm spring weather attracts bored students looking for excitement.

However, the root cause is the culture of leftist radicalism that grips educational institutions across the country.

It’s vital for taxpayers to know that the federal government feeds that radicalism with billions of dollars in direct and indirect subsidies every year, much of which is wrongly labeled as promoting “science.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Led by Speaker Mike Johnson, R-LA., House Republicans are shining a spotlight on wayward universities, including with hearings and investigations by several committees.

House Science Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., noted that the National Science Foundation provides significant financial support for research activity. Federal rules require that schools receiving research grants must protect students from harassment and intimidation, such as what is being done today by masked ideological mobs.


The scale of federal grants for scientific research is enormous—tens of billions of dollars per year. In addition, schools receive massive and excessive add-ons for “indirect” (overhead) costs.

Coupled with federally supported student loans that inflate tuition prices, colleges and universities have a taxpayer-funded financial cushion.

This enables schools to hire legions of diversity bureaucrats and host academically dubious race- and gender-studies departments whose central purpose is indoctrinating students in support of radical ideologies.

Federal funding provides more than mere passive support to leftism.

Agencies such as the National Science Foundation readily approve grants that openly seek to inject critical theory and similar far-left concepts into a variety of subjects. The goal is to bend academic disciplines to the whims of grievance-based identity politics. Examples include:

  • A $343,000 grant to Colorado State University for “multiculturally inclusive” chemistry based on a fact-free claim that racial minorities are “excluded” from chemistry.
  • A $1.5 million grant to the University of South Florida to combat “anti-black racism” in engineering, based on the assumption that teaching must adhere to extreme “anti-racist” ideology to avoid being racist.
  • A $299,000 grant to the American Geophysical Union to train scientists to be “justice-centered.” This training calls for scientists to water down their work by embracing “other ways of knowing.”
  • A $250,000 grant to Occidental College for teaching children that difficulty they have learning science and math subjects is due to “structural racism.”

Encouraging teachers and students to view the world primarily through the lens of identity politics and racial grievance is a recipe for exactly the sort of discord that is playing out at prominent universities.

Many members of Congress have issued statements condemning disorder and antisemitic incidents on campuses. Unfortunately, few legislators have shown an interest in addressing the roots of the problem by stopping the flow of tax dollars in support of radical leftists.

Every year, Congress funds federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation. Through the “power of the purse,” legislation can directly reduce or eliminate support to specific agencies and programs. In addition, Congress can block funding for certain types of activities.

Over the next several months, Congress will debate how to fund the federal government in fiscal year 2025. At a time when Americans struggle with elevated inflation due to excessive deficit spending, there is an urgent need to find savings.

Legislators can lower inflation and defang campus radicals at the same time by cutting off federal grants and subsidies for academic institutions captured by the Left.

The alternative—maintaining or increasing funding levels—guarantees more academic insanity for years to come.

Reprinted with permission from The Daily Signal by David Ditch.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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Bob Chase
Bob Chase
20 days ago

There is no good reason for the FED to be feeding these schools. Nothing from the FED is done efficiently or without strings attached. The Constitution does not assign “social engineering” duties to the FED. Promoting scientific research is BS. Politicians and bureaucrats are ill qualified to define science. Private industry can contract specific research as needed. Dump the Department of Education and student loan business, get the universities back on course to provide a meaningful education. If they cannot do that they have no useful function.

Elizabeth Misa
Elizabeth Misa
20 days ago

It is a waste of money to the taxpayers!!!!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
20 days ago

Good luck with that, Congress: these are multibillion dollar institutions who are political supporters and contributors to the DNC just like Planned Parenthood.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
20 days ago

& add:
Indoc
Policies
Academia
Social Media
Bias education

Bob Olden
Bob Olden
20 days ago

If universities can’t get students by simply providing solid education to improve careers and build better citizens, cut them off!!

Wayne
Wayne
22 days ago

Welcome to joe’s America

Pat R
Pat R
20 days ago

Federal gov’t funds to any entity outside running the federal gov’t should be shut down (it never should have been started). It is part of government’s insistance that “it is for the common good”, which is BULL. It is for gov’t expansion, influence and control. And that doesn’t matter the party.
This is just One of the many ways the federal gov’t continues to grow, bloat the budget and tax citizens more and more to pay for it.

BillBoy Baggins
BillBoy Baggins
20 days ago

Why are colleges and universities receiving taxpayer money, at all? Especially when they are worth BILLIONS?

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