The purpose of the Life Sciences Awards, the result of a partnership between the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation (a federal government agency, though it doesn’t sound like it), is to encourage innovation in the area of life sciences by awarding monetary prizes to select nominees.
For fiscal years 2008 and 2009, a total of $90,000 was awarded to eight scholars, all of whom have made apparent contributions to the field of life sciences. Henry Zheng of Ellicott City, Md. was the 2009 recipient of the $5,000 Life Sciences Biology Student Award for prosthetics research he performed at Johns Hopkins University.
Though the money spent on these awards is not great, it illustrates an important modus operandi that has come to exist in the United States.
Namely, the U.S. has become a nation notorious for taxing its citizens and funneling those taxes toward causes that fall outside the realm of power delegated to the government under the U.S. Constitution.
Where the free market should advance scholarship, the government unduly steps in, robbing individuals of their willingness (and ability) to give freely.