The National Science Foundation (NSF) has dropped out of the Homestake Lab project — and the kicker — they made this call back in December. This is coming to light as Sen. Johnson questioned the Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. The minor good news out of this is that the Energy Secretary still supports the project but without their 50/50 partnership with NSF its going to be much smaller….
Read it here
Okay so it’s not like projects haven’t been defunded or threatened to be defunded before one — but thanks to our “hardworking” politicians….we usually get to hear all about the battle so that if we lose the funding we won’t blame the elected officials for not doing their job for us honest, hard-working South Dakotans. This is the first peep I’ve heard of this…
(okay so now I’ve found a RC Journal article from December — and yes I do read that paper)
So what the heck….whose door does this stop in front of? Johnson is listed in the article as a supporter of the project, Rounds was still Governor at this time — Lt. Gov. Daugaard was just elected to be Governor, Thune was active in Washington, Noem hadn’t taken office yet and Herseth-Sandlin was AWOL somewhere between DC and SD.
In December, Science Insider (no it’s not normally on my reading list) detailed the head of the NSF oversight board giving the project the bum’s rush. It reads a bit like an abrupt turn around — scientists developing new exciting research — and then poof — it’s no longer consistent with the NSF’s mission and by the way we are not even gonna help you finish up design work or safety issues on a project that was originally our idea.
Since the head of the oversight board is from Oregon State University and the project is being led by UC Berkley in conjunction with Mines…..could this be about an academic grudge? Not that it really matters…..at the end of the day those elected to look out for our state’s interests didn’t get it done.