Warren Weinstein, the American Al-Quaida hostage killed in a US counterterrorism drone strike in January, began his professional career as a political scientist. He earned a doctorate in political science from Columbia University, and initially specialized in African Studies, a field in which he was very active. During the 1970s he was a tenured political science professor at SUNY Oswego, leaving in 1979 to join USAID (or the US Agency for International Development). Following his AID career he became the Pakistan country director for J.E.Austin Associates, a development contractor for the US government. Weinstein was kidnapped from his home in Lahore, Pakistan, on the eve of his planned departure from this assignment in order to return to his wife and family in Rockville, Maryland. Dr. Weinstein’s life was spent in service to his country and to other peoples, working tirelessly to improve cross-cultural understanding and promote international economic development. Just one comment posted on his Facebook page from a Pakistani journalist is indicative of his life: He was such a great man who taught me so much in terms of creating value for others, while keeping professional ethics intact. You can read more at the Washington Post or NPR.
On April 15, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology introduced a bill for National Science Foundation reauthorization that sets funding levels by NSF directorate and would cut funding for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate by nearly 45%.