The loss of the NSF DDIG program caused great sadness, both within the community and apparently at NSF. I happened to be serving on a panel the week the decision came out, and was told that the memo was “stained with tears”. All of the protest letters, while certainly articulating the communities’ dismay, didn’t propose any useful action. Furthermore, in my opinion the very last thing that we should be doing is causing our NSF officers additional tears! I asked the directors what we, the community, could do to ensure our students are trained to be independent scientists and leaders and it was suggested that an unsolicited proposal might be considered.
Emboldened by this suggestion, I teamed up with David Stern of the PSRN (representing 14 plant science societies) and an amazing group of folks spanning SSE, SSB, and ASN at & leading up to Evolution 2017 in Portland. Five of us put together the following WHITE PAPER and sent it to NSF late last week. We’re waiting for a response, but are hopeful that there will be investments made along the lines we suggest.
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