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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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EPA Needs Science Boss, National Academy Says
14 June 2000 6:00 pm
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs a new science czar to give researchers a greater voice in agency decisions, according to a National Academy of Sciences report released today.
EPA has long been under assault for the questionable quality of the science underlying its regulation of everything from air pollution to dioxin (Science, 16 June, p. 1941). The agency "has made significant improvements" to its research program since a critical 1992 study, according to "Strengthening Science at the U.S. EPA," released this week. But "there is a continuing basis for many of the scientific concerns" raised by previous reports, it concludes. In particular, the agency's current science chief--the head of the Office of Research and Development (ORD)--lacks clout in how regulatory offices use research findings, says panel chair Paul Risser, an ecologist and president of Oregon State University in Corvallis. EPA's structure "has not accommodated science at the level it needs to be," Risser says.
To elevate science, the report urges Congress to create a new senior position: deputy administrator for science and technology. It also recommends a 6-year term for ORD chiefs and attracting more top-notch academic scientists to stints at EPA labs. The first measure of Congress's reaction to the report may come at a Senate environment committee hearing this summer.