Dr Scott Atran in Foreign Policy: “Social Warfare”

Scott Atran (March 15, 2013). “Social Warfare.” Foreign Policy.

With the automatic sequestration cuts geared up to slash billions of dollars from domestic programs, military funding, social services, and government-sponsored scientific research — including about a 6 percent reduction for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) — policymakers and professionals are scrambling to stave off the worst by resetting priorities. In a major speech last month, House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), proposed outright to defund political and social science: “Funds currently spent by the government on social science — including on politics of all things — would be better spent on curing diseases,” he said, echoing a similar proposal he made in 2009. Florida Governor Rick Scott has made a similar push, proposing to divert state funds from disciplines like anthropology and psychology “to degrees where people can get jobs,” especially in technology and medicine. Those are fighting words, but they’re also simple-minded.

Read the full article at foreignpolicy.com.