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Let's Cut Some Spending: $675,000 to compare brains of ants and humans

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Remember the absolutely critical Omnibus spending bill Congress muscled through at the end of last year? It was 4,000 pages that no one read that cost taxpayers $1.7 trillion.

In our Let's Cut Some Spending series, ForAmerica will chronicle parts of the 2021 and 2022 spending bills from a variety of sources that you probably don't know about - programs, grants, and spending of all kinds that should have never happened in the first place and many that are still happening.

Today's offering: $675,000 to compare ant and human brain development!

From Senator Rand Paul's 2022 Festivus Report:

In 2014, NSF [National Science Foundation] granted Boston University $675,000 to study the social life and 'collective intelligence' of ants and their subfamilies. The purpose of the study was 'to use ants as an ideal model system to analyze the relationship between sociality and brain evolution,' and to evaluate if life experiences and social situations aid in brain development.
The researchers asserted that using ants in this research is 'necessary' to study the design of the human brain. However, there has already been significant research finding that socialization is critical for humans’ brain health beginning even as a fetus. Maybe the government just likes spending money on countless duplicated research, or maybe they just think it’d be left unnoticed. Either way, it's clear Uncle Sam either needs to rein in the spending or get a better account-ant.


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