- $12 million is also about a quarter of the cost of a new Gulfstream jet, waste is pretty relative.
- I could do with a tiny slice of that - things that could help get more students in the STEM pipeline. I’d take NSF’s money too, I’m not picky
- Private funding has a long tradition and it should always be scrutinized, but we also have to allow that people who have money can influence directions of research simply by giving that money to whoever the want. In chemistry we have the Petroleum Research Fund run by the American Chemical Society. It funds a lot of good science but every proposal has to tie back into petroleum somehow because the fund was endowed by “Big Oil”.
Did you read it? None of that was spent on STEM.
Yes, I did read it. My point being, it’s a bit like being a back seat driver to complain as profusely as some do over how a private philanthropic foundation like Templeton spends it’s money. They fund some really good stuff (like NOVA programs and getting scholars together to review Josh’s book) and they also fund “other stuff” which scientists might find boring or a waste of resources. They fund a lot of “free market” research, for instance, that I don’t find overly interesting.
What Coyne, et. al seem to be doing, in my opinion, is poisoning the well so that no self-respecting scientist would ever ask for Templeton funding, just because of the association, regardless of the quality of their proposal and the benefits to the broader community. I think that’s sad.