After a senator calls her research a waste of taxpayer dollars, biologist Sheila Patek heads to Capitol Hill to prove what her science is worth.
In December 2015, the fight over science funding got personal for biologist Sheila Patek. She discovered that a U.S. Senator, Jeff Flake
of Arizona, had included her research on mantis shrimp in his “wastebook”: a list of federally-funded projects he deemed a waste of taxpayer money. So what did Patek do? She headed to Capitol Hill to make the case to Senator Flake—and to Congress—that blue-sky science is worth the money.
(Original art by Claire Merchlinsky)
This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by Annie Minoff and Elah Feder. Editing by Christopher Intagliata. Fact-checking help by Michelle Harris. Original music by Daniel Peterschmidt. Our theme music is by I am Robot and Proud. Art for this episode by Claire Merchlinsky. Thanks to Science Friday’s Danielle Dana, Christian Skotte, Brandon Echter, and Rachel Bouton.