Budget Cuts

Nils Zurawski (zurawsk@UNI-MUENSTER.DE)
Sat, 27 May 1995 09:35:12 +0100

Althgough I am not involved in any way with those cuts, the posting by
Nick Corduan cought my attention. I can't say anything about the funding
system in The USA, but give a different view from where I live and study,
i.e. Germany.
BTW I do not really think that this matters, but what matters is an
understanding of science and its role in a society and the state and
government and its reliabilities.

There is no privatly funded University in Germany. The money is provided by
each of the 16 states for its Universities. Most of the funds, esspeciaflly
in humanities and social sciences are provided by the state, i.e. its
different institutions.

One basic responsibility that the state has is to provide a good education
and therefore a good research is needed. Although the money is coming from
the government, the universities and research projects are autonomous in
the direction any reseachingand teaching will go. There is no brain

And it is that way for the most part.

I believe that without the state alot of research would never have been
done. Maybe some was just done because of private fundings, but then the
direction was focused on the needs for this company or whatever, e.g a lot
of biology, genetic, or medical, research.

Because the state doesn't know a lot about anthropology (sociology,
psychology, archeology etc. ) it is the perfect funde for that kind of

There are also a lot of problems with the money that omes from the
government, but to compare the state funding with private funding isn't as
easy as Nick Corduan makes it to be.

The variety of projects that are funded here in Germany by the state goes
ideologically speaking from right to left through all sciences.
In contrast to private funding in belive it is the scientific aspect that
comes first while private funding will at least to an equal extent look for
the practical use and the direction it will take. A direct comparison
therefore must be skewed.

I am aware that my discription is a pretty well meaning one and that it is
not that easy. And I too wouldn't turn down private money either, as long
as I can do as I like. But for the sake of the argument I had to show it
the way I did here.

Nils Zurawski