A Missing Link?

A MISSING LINK?….The Chronicle of Higher Education notes today that the Department of Education’s “Smart Grants” program, designed to reward students majoring in engineering, mathematics, science, and certain foreign languages, is missing a subject: evolutionary biology.

The department has an index of classification numbers ? referred to as “CIP codes,” for the Classification of Instructional Programs ? for all academic areas of instruction,

Under that classification scheme, there is a heading for “Ecology, Evolution, Systematics and Population Biology,” under which 10 biological fields are defined. For instance, ecology is 26.1301, and evolutionary biology is 26.1303.

But on a list that defines majors eligible for the grants, issued by the department in May, one of those 10 is missing. On that list, the classification numbers rise in order from 26.1301 to 26.1309 ? with the exception of a blank line where 26.1303, or evolutionary biology, would fall.

….The absence is conspicuous: the only major with evolution in its title was one of only three among the physical sciences that appears to have been deleted from the list. For unknown reasons, “behavioral sciences” and “exercise psychology” are also absent.

Just a coincidence, I’m sure. Ed Department folks were unavailable for comment, but a spokescritter suggested this was just a “clerical consolidation of some kind.” Roger that.