'Wasteful' Shrimp on Treadmill Study Blasted

But scientists fire back at Senator's Coburn report
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2011 4:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – The National Science Foundation is being given too much money if it can afford to fund experiments that involve putting shrimp on treadmills or creating laundry-folding robots, grumbles Sen. Tom Coburn. The Oklahoma Republican has released a report criticizing the agency, which receives some $7 billion in federal funding a year, for wasting billions of dollars through mismanagement and by funding studies of questionable value, ABC News reports.

story continues below

Scientists, however, say Coburn's report oversimplifies and misrepresents their research. The shrimp-on-a-treadmill study was part of an examination of how marine animals will cope with increased environmental stress, and the laundry-folding robot mocked in Coburn's report was part of a project to create robots that can interact with complex objects. "I sympathize with the desire to identify things that are silly and not useful," a researcher tells LiveScience. "But I'm not sure he's identified a really practical strategy to distinguish between the two." (Read more scientific research stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.