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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
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...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
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...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Scientists Rally Around Smithsonian Centers
16 April 2001 7:00 pm
A proposal to close two research centers of the Smithsonian Institution is meeting rising opposition from researchers, policy-makers, and congressional representatives.
Often regarded as the U.S. equivalent of a ministry of science and culture, the Smithsonian has 16 museums, the National Zoo, and a half-dozen remote research units, all of which get about two-thirds of their support from the U.S. government. As part of an impending reorganization of research there, Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence Small last week called for the closing of the National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal Virginia and the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education (ScienceNOW, 10 April).
In response to early rumors of the closing, Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) met on 5 April with representatives of about two dozen conservation and scientific organizations and mapped out a strategy for convincing Small, the Smithsonian's Board of Regents, and the U.S. Congress that these centers are worth saving. And on 16 April, scientists at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History held a special meeting of their Senate of Scientists. While they stopped short of giving Small a vote of no confidence, many did sign a letter to Small objecting to the closing of the centers and to the "top down" management style that they say Small has imposed.
"I think we've got to all speak out," says Smithsonian ornithologist Storrs Olson.