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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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NSF's Beijing Brouhaha
25 October 1999 6:00 pm
Brushing aside the last-minute objections of an influential member of congress, the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Friday gave the green light to a science policy meeting in China now under way that involves officials and scientists from both countries.
Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), chair of the House Science Committee, was supposed to deliver the keynote address at the 3-day Beijing conference, which was organized by Thomas Ratchford, a senior science official in the Bush Administration who now teaches at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He has a $325,000 NSF grant to explore U.S.-Chinese roles in a "borderless, knowledge-based 21st century economy."
But Sensenbrenner pulled out last Wednesday, blasting China's "repeated efforts to obtain or misuse sensitive military technologies," and urged NSF to cancel the meeting. Ironically, he broke the news to NSF director Rita Colwell in a call that interrupted a meeting with reporters in which she and presidential science adviser Neal Lane heaped praise on Sensenbrenner and his Republican colleagues for their help in passing the just-signed 2000 budget for NSF and NASA.
Colwell spent the next day conferring with Lane and other scientists before deciding that the meeting, which featured Gerald Keusch, head of the Fogarty International Center at NIH, and Gerald Hane of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, should go on. The seminar "is not linked to [Sensenbrenner's] specific concerns" and upholds "the principle of free circulation of scientists," she said on Friday. Sensenbrenner was "disappointed" by NSF's decision, which he said "prompts further questions about the Administration's handling of S&T issues involving China."