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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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Getting Down With NSF
16 May 2000 7:00 pm
Think peer review is tough? Try party review.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) hopes to stage a December gala to cap its yearlong 50th anniversary celebration. But the National Science Board, which manages NSF's $4 billion portfolio and usually conducts its affairs in a sedate, secretive, and soporific fashion, is discovering that arranging fun is no picnic.
The presidentially appointed panel is trying to choose entertainment that would please everyone--and offend no one. Its travails became public on 4 May after an earlier closed meeting ended in what Carnegie Institution astronomer Vera Rubin, chair of the party committee, described as "a state of disorder."
"We considered the Capitol Steps," a local comedy group that does political satire, Rubin explained to the full board. "But we worried that they might say something embarrassing." The chief alternative--music--was equally contentious. Factions favoring ballroom dancing vied with supporters of a sit-down concert. Nor were people fired up by one member's proposal for a "science cabaret" featuring posters by winners of student science competitions. Another member hinted darkly that a mariachi band, which made a surprise appearance at a farewell dinner for former NSF director Neal Lane, could reappear as the default choice.
Beyond entertainment are two other potential land mines: location (the White House is a remote possibility) and the guest list. Any suggestions? Send them to email@example.com