This week Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) released his new oversight report, “Twenty Questions: Government Studies That Will Leave you Scratching Your Head,” that details $35 million in wasted Federal research dollars.
The 58-page report identifies 20 different research questions posed by Federal agencies that range from “where it hurts most to be stung by a bee” to “whether cheerleaders look more attractive in a group or individually.”
Flake’s inspiration for the report began during the Ebola outbreak when the director of the National Institutes of Health said in and interview that “if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this…” Following the interview Flake and his staff began investigating the agency’s $32 billion budget, finding research within the agency that no doubt took away from potentially life saving research. In addition, Flake highlights questionable research throughout the National Science Foundation and Department of Defense.
The release of the report coincides with legislation recently introduced that would require the Administration to develop a system that eliminates duplicative research and would require agencies that fund research to post a summary, funding details, and information about research for every unclassified study paid for with taxpayers’ money.
Read the full report here.