Waste watch: Feds misspend $3 billion for kooky research 

WHAT: A $500,000 grant to test shrimps’ speed on a treadmill, $1.5 million to create a robot that needs 25 minutes to fold a single towel and a South Pole off-duty Jell-O wrestling event were projects funded by the National Science Foundation.

HOW WE KNOW: Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., one of the Senate’s most-determined watchdogs on government waste, issued a new 73-page report, backed by more than 350 footnotes, charging the NSF with misusing $3 billion in taxpayer money.

WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: The NSF has an annual budget of $6.9 billion, and accounts for about one-fifth of all federal taxpayer-funded research at colleges and universities. Coburn’s report cited exorbitant operating costs and slipshod oversight tracking.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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