Democratic Senate Bill Allocates $5 Million for ‘Chief Diversity Officer’ at National Science Foundation

Black scientist with safety goggles and mask on

A Senate bill that ostensibly focuses on strengthening American competition with China includes a provision between the lines that would designate $5 million for funding of a new “chief diversity officer” position at the National Science Foundation (NSF), according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The bill is the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which is supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. The bill aims to address the ongoing economic rivalry and supply chain crisis between the United States and China, by increasing domestic manufacturing and tightening supply lines in the United States.

According to the bill, the duties of the NSF’s new “chief diversity officer” would include “establishing a strategic plan for diverse participation” in the foundation’s various programs, as well as collecting information on the demographics of the NSF’s staff and patent applicants, in order to know which demographics to hire to offset alleged “inequity.” The bill would direct states to close such “equity gaps” by giving subgrants to students in computer science education classes who face “systemic barriers.”

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Federal Government Pays University $750k to Create Tool That Warns Journalists Against Publishing ‘Polarizing’ Content

The National Science Foundation (NSF) provided a $750,000 grant to Temple University researchers for developing a product that tracks local journalism cycles, which is part of their new “Trust & Authenticity in Communication Systems” initiative.

The “America’s Fourth Estate at Risk: A System for Mapping the (Local) Journalism Life Cycle to Rebuild the Nation’s News Trust” project aims to create a data-based tool that informs journalists when publishing content might result in “negative unintended outcomes” like “the triggering of uncivil, polarizing discourse, audience misinterpretation, the production of misinformation, and the perpetuation of false narratives.”

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Another Professor Indicted for Receiving Secret Support from China

A professor at Southern Illinois University received an indictment for concealing his support from the Chinese government.

According to a United States Department of Justice press release, Mingqing Xiao — who teaches mathematics at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale — “fraudulently obtained $151,099 in federal grant money from the National Science Foundation (NSF) by concealing support he was receiving from the Chinese government and a Chinese university.”

Accordingly, he was charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement. He faces the possibility of twenty-year sentences for each of the former, as well as a five-year sentence for the latter. All three charges are punishable by fines of up to $250,000 each.

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Commentary: Hubris, Betrayal, Technology, and the Fall of the Elites

by Robin Burk   In ancient Greek tragedy, the hero rises to fame only to be undone by hubris, the fatal flaw of overweening arrogance. But to understand the events that continue to unfold around the 2016 presidential election, it’s helpful to look farther east. A generation before Sophocles chronicled…

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Commentary: Is Diversity an Enemy of Excellence?

by John Staddon   The National Science Foundation (NSF) was created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science….” Following a 2012 recommendation, NSF now has an Office of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). NSF was just following the crowd, for almost every academic and research institution now has a…

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