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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Space Station Deal Lauded, Lamented
30 January 1998 6:30 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C.--It took 4 years to hammer out an agreement for how 16 nations will build and operate the international space station, so most participants at the signing ceremony here yesterday expressed relief--particularly because the first launch toward completion in 2002 is less than 5 months away.
The exception was French education, research, and technology minister Claude Allègre, who looked decidedly grumpy. "I signed, but I made an addendum that we will not accept any increases in the budget," he said afterward. "If it ends up costing more, we will not pay." European officials say that Germany is likely to shoulder the largest European share of any increase in the station's $30 billion price tag or in its annual operating costs, which will top $1 billion.
But cost isn't Allègre's only gripe. "I am not a big fan of human flight in space," he told ScienceNOW. The former geochemist questions whether the station will produce worthy science. "If you ask me will I sponsor a trip to the top of the Himalayas, I will say yes if you bring me back some rocks. If not, I will say no." He says he's unconvinced that the station's proposed life sciences and microgravity experiments will offer similar tangible rewards.
Others at the gathering, however, were more upbeat. Jack Gibbons, President Clinton's science adviser and a past skeptic of the station's science mission, opined that the partners are "pursuing something larger than the space station"--cooperation, he says, that will lead to other joint R&D efforts. And Japanese ambassador Kunihiko Saito seemed thrilled about the prospect of his country establishing a toehold in space: "My favorite movie is 2001: A Space Odyssey," he said.