President Obama is announcing his BRAIN initiative, a multi-year $100 million scientific research project that aims to do for brain science what the Human Genome Project did for genetics.
While that is ambitious, the project has already succeeded in one thing: In a positively stunning display of bipartisanship, House majority Leader Eric Cantor has announced that he supports the $100 million government spending project proposed by President Obama.
Here are three tweets from Cantor Communications Director Rory Cooper explaining his support:
Cantor: "Mapping the human brain is exactly the type of research we should be funding, by re-prioritizing the $250 million..." 1/3— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) April 2, 2013
Cantor cont: "...we currently spend on political and social science research into expanded medical research," 2/3— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) April 2, 2013
Cantor cont: "...including the expedited mapping of the human brain. It's great science.” 3/3— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) April 2, 2013
The move makes a lot of sense for Cantor. Here's an excerpt from a February 2013 speech he gave to the American Enterprise Institute called "Making Life Work" where he explained that he thought money spent on social science should instead be spent on hard science.
There is an appropriate and necessary role for the federal government to ensure funding for basic medical research. [...] We can and must do better.
This includes cutting unnecessary red tape in order to speed up the availability of life saving drugs and treatments and re-prioritizing existing federal research spending. Funds currently spent by the government on social science – including on politics of all things – would be better spent helping find cures to diseases.
It's still pretty jarring to see Eric Cantor and Barack Obama team up, but it seems that neuroscience research managed to do the trick.
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