Former Wisconsin Democratic Senator William Proxmire passed away yesterday at age 90. Through his “Golden Fleece Award” Proxmire frequently skewered taxpayer-supported research on silly topics (or at least, topics that appeared silly based on the title of the research). For example, on a clip yesterday shown on CNN (12/15/05), Proxmire, speaking of one of his Golden Fleece Awards, expresses disbelief that the taxpayer, through the U.S. government, was supporting research on whether sunfish that drink tequila are more aggressive than sunfish that drink gin.
According to the same CNN report on 12/15/05, Proxmire was in favor of government support of dairy products. (The dairy industry is politically influential in Proxmire’s state of Wisconsin.)
A complete listing of all of William Proxmire’s “Golden Fleece Awards” can be found at: