Hat tip to David Bacon for highlighting this. Republican whip Eric Cantor has apparently decided that the best way to start cutting government spending is to have the general public search through NSF awards and highlight "wasteful" grants that are a poor use of taxpayer dollars.
Look, I like the idea of cutting government spending, but I just spent two days in Washington DC sitting around a table with a dozen other PhD scientists and engineers arguing about which 12% of a large group of NSF proposals were worth trying to fund. I'm sure Cantor would brand me as an elitist for what I'm about to write, but there is NO WAY that the lay public is capable of making a reasoned critical judgment about the relative merits of 98% of NSF grants - they simply don't have the needed contextual information. Bear in mind, too, that the DOD budget is ONE HUNDRED TIMES larger than the NSF budget. Is NSF really the poster child of government waste? Seriously?