Tags: Coburn | NSF | 500 | 000 | shrimp | treadmill

Coburn Rips NSF for Spending $500,000 to Run Shrimp on Treadmill

Thursday, 26 May 2011 12:34 PM

By Andra Varin

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The National Science Foundation spent $500,000 in taxpayer money to research shrimp on a treadmill and $1.5 million to build a robot that can fold laundry, according to a report from Sen. Tom Coburn. “What it says to me is, they have too much money if they're going to spend money on things like that," the Oklahoma Republican told ABC News,  which obtained a copy of his report on the foundation’s finances.

Tom Coburn, Shrimp, treadmill, robot
Sen. Tom Coburn: NSF has too much money if it can spend $1.5 million to build laundry-folding robot. (Getty Images Photo)
Other projects Coburn questioned included $300,000 to study whether the Facebook game Farmville helps build personal relationships.

In addition, the National Science Foundation plans to move its headquarters from Arlington, Va., where it spends $19 million a year in rent, to Washington, D.C., where its rent will jump to $26 million, ABC said.

In response to Coburn’s report, the National Science Foundation said its research projects "have advanced the frontiers of science and engineering, improved Americans' lives, and provided the foundations for countless new industries and jobs."

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