NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Honorable Robert J. Lagomarsino
Dear Mr. Lagomarsino:
I am replying to your letter of January 27, 1983, in which you asked about NSF's handling of a research proposal from Dr. Robert Gentry of Columbia Union College.
All NSF funding decisions are based on a process of peer review which involves mail reviews by several experts in the field and, in many cases, further consideration by a panel of scientists from outside NSF. Only about half of the proposals we receive can be funded. Criteria used are stated in our booklet "Grants for Scientific and Engineering Research" (NSF 81-79, copy of relevant page enclosed). The holding of unorthodox scientific views is not a barrier to the receipt of NSF support, and the best evidence for this is the fact that during the 1970's NSF funded several of Dr. Gentry's proposals including one for $54,900 for the study of "Nuclear Geophysics of Radiohalos."
Please reassure your constituent that NSF funding decisions are based on well identified criteria and that Dr. Gentry's views have not been a barrier to his receiving NSF support.
Earth Science Associates